Friday, November 18, 2011

Business Plans

Courtesy Flickr
Do you have a business plan for your business?  You do?  That's fantastic!  Now, do you go back and reference it occasionally to update it as necessary?  No?  Why not?  You should!  Keep reading and learn why. 

You don't even have a business plan?  Why not?  Let's make today your day to get that business plan kick started. 

I will fully admit, I didn't think through the whole starting a business thing when I decided to open up my Etsy shop in May.  I simply dove into the environment because I had a few things I wanted to get off my hands and thought that Etsy was a great low risk method to sell the items I had available.  I quickly realized that this was something I really wanted to grab onto and try to build into a true business. 

Once I made this epiphany I began researching what I needed to create a successful business.  The number one thing on my list was to develop a business plan.  Why you ask?  The business plan is a living document that you need to use to plan how your business is going to run.  Many people avoid the business plan like the plague, or even worse, they put in the time and effort to write one, but then never look at it again.

Don't let this happen to you!  As your business grows and therefore you business plan changes and adapts, it will really become a strategic plan for your business.  In my  research I saw many templates for business plans, some were more helpful than others.  For me, thinking of my business plan more of the strategic plan on how I am going to grow and expand my business not just a check box type plan that will sit and collect dust.

I'm now in my seven month of operation, I decided a business plan/strategic review is necessary for my own benefit.  At the on-set a frequent review of this document is most prudent.  Continuous pulse checks to make sure you are not completely off the band wagon of your initial vision is important in a young business.  Once you are more established, the frequency of your reviews is less.  

What did I learn from reviewing my business plan?  Stop back next week to see my self analysis!

Until then, where do you land on the business plan spectrum?  Do you have one?  Is it helpful?  Do you review it?


  1. I actually don't have a business plan. I have bookkeeping, a list of goals, a to-do list, and my calendar--and that system has worked really well for me. My business has changed dramatically over the last 7 or 8 months, and I personally feel like my time is better spent doing other things than updating my business plan every time my company goes through a change.

  2. Paige - having a list of goals is part of a business plan

    I don't have a specific business plan either but I know my products, I know what items sell better than others, and I know that I've been spending time on my blog to draw readers to my Etsy shop. A plan doesn't need to be elaborate to be a plan ;-)

  3. I need to plan more. I tend to be a "go with the flow" kinda person and that can mean being too overwhelmed or underwhelmed at times.

    Thanks for reminding me to work on it!

  4. Brooke has a very good point. Your business plan doesn't have to be elaborate at all! Paige, it sounds like you do have a business plan, just not in a formalized way where it is all in one place.

    As you'll find out next week, that since opening my business has gone through many changes since it's initial inception.

    Megan, if you're worried about being to over- or under-whelmed. Try starting with a list of goals.

  5. Although I do not have a specific plan, Thank you for directing my mind to it!


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