My ecommerce business for women's seasonal fashion accessories has a grossed a little more than $250K in sales so far this year. However, I have no business plan and I can see how its hurting my business. Business plan templates I've found have always seemed jargony and unnecessarily formal to me. How does one create a business plan that actually HELPS their business grow? Where do I start?
Forget business plan templates for a minute.
Any plan for your business has to have the following points that cover all aspects of your business:
1- desired outcome
2- steps to reach your outcome
3- cost of each step (in dollar and time)
4- return on investment (ROI on your cost above)
5- risks for all above
6- people involved
In your business case, you have to implement those strategies so you can take your business to the next level and increase your profit by 20% in less a year:
1- think of recurring revenue (like birchbox.com)
2- No accounts receivable (just eliminate them from your business)
3- automate your system so you can make money while you are sleeping
If you think that 90% of your operations are Sales, you are on the right track, otherwise you have to rethink of your strategy.
Back to business plans: any template will not make a difference. Implement the strategies above and you'll see your business strongly growing.
Happy to help you on growing your business. Just give me a buzz.
There is no problem with your business plan, there is a problem with you and having a plan to grow your business!!
From what you wrote and what I can understand is;
- There is a lack of vision and understand how to grow your business
-Maybe you are not able to establish your dream team to grow your business
-No action plan to grow your business and no accountability on your action plans
I would love to hear more about how absence of business plan is hurting your business
I have been in the domestic and global consulting and trade show business for the last 20+ years. I have worked with many companies that had to prepare business plans, reports, vision and goal focused presentations, and 50+ page corporate documents.
Overall, my first questions usually are "What do you need the BP for?" and "Do you need it for investors and/or banks?". It is important that my clients understand that there are different levels, corporate needs and goals, and presentation levels. Most of the businesses I am working with need to review, adjust, and redirect their business activities every 2-4 weeks. Knowing this speed of change, my recommendation is to start with a business presentation.
I have developed a PowerPoint document that my clients use for meetings or vision sessions with companies. This document keeps them focused (max 15 slides, in Arial 16) because they are "forced" to stay within the slides. We revisit the PP all the time, discussing the status and the direction, and then adjust the slides if necessary.
This format is helping my clients. Let me know if you would like to talk about this in more details in a call.
I am using https://www.stratpad.com/ , it's free, trully free. It has / is a walk through business planning app !
I strongly recommend it ! And I'm not affiliated in any way , it's just a great tool designed for small business owners, plain and simple !
I have written 400+ business plan in last several years as that is what I do for a living. The approach I have used and recommend for writing a business plan is what I call "Two Sentence Business Plan" and the idea is to be very objective and concise while writing and following a standard framework of answering the what, why, how, when, who, where, of each idea/element and including an action step to it. This will declutter your head, get your ideas and strategy on paper, and guide you in making well informed decisions as well.
The framework is a simple one pager you can see at http://twosentencebusinessplan.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/BusinessModel06.pdf however, you can go as complicated as you like by further diving deeper into the granular details that matter most to your business.
I'd happy to help you with details specific to you and your business, over a call, if you need. Cheers!
Just make sure you know what you want to do in the business..
What are you gonna deliver ? how ? to whom and at what cost .. ?
I can help you prepare a professional business plan , financial forecast and valuation plans as well..
You may also have a look on lean canvas for simplicity.
Templates are generic not suitable for everyone if you haven't used them before, coz you will not know which sections to add and which to ignore.