A Simple Business Plan that Works!

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How many times have you thought “I need a business plan.” And how many times have you searched for a simple business plan – only to find the software is expensive, the process complex! And then you think “maybe I don’t need a business plan after all.”

We’ve all been through this, so don’t think you are alone.

If you run a one-person business or even one with several employees, you don’t need a business plan as much as you need a work plan. That’s why I created the Simplified Business Plan.

For the past eight years I’ve been using the Simplified Business Plan. And it’s been working for me. It may inspire you to do something similar – or at least do something! Here’s how it works.

At the beginning of the year (or during my planning period for the year), I list the goals for my business. I try to look at all of the facets of the business. For example:

1. Create 6 products.
2. Give 10 free teleseminars.
3. Generate $X in consulting fees.
4. Increase website traffic to X page views per month.
5. Double number of members for my Online Success Incubator

Then I take one page per goal and outline the Action Steps I need to take to achieve that goal. For example, with the goal to Double number of members, I will list

 – Create new landing page
 – Increase number of messages in follow-up autoresponder
 – Offer a teleseminar
 – Post replay of free teleseminar
 – Write 5 articles on the topic
 – Do a free webinar
 – Open member webinars to the public for a fee
 – Offer 14-day trial

In addition, I list specific JV partners or prospects that I want to work with this year.

I repeat this process for each goal, listing any marketing or sales activities I need to do under the goal to which it applies.

At this point, I have my basic plan. All that remains is setting the deadlines for each activity. These deadlines, in turn, dictate my daily activities. If I find myself doing something that isn’t in my business plan, I stop and ask “Should I be doing this at all? If I should, why didn’t it show up in my original plan? Where can I add it or should I stop doing it?”

Overall, my entire plan is less than 10 pages long. I try never to set more than 10 goals for the year, since that seems so overwhelming! So it keeps it short. I review the plan monthly, noting the activities I have completed and noting progress on those on which I’m working. I’m always amazed at how much I do get done on the plan – even if I never complete all of the tasks I’ve set out to do.

Having a plan is a key element to preparing for success. The format that your plan takes is entirely up to you. But if you haven’t found one that works for you, try this. Pick up  your free video showing you how to use the Simplified Business Plan.

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