Writing a business plan is really just a mechanical process. The reason it seems so hard is most people haven’t answered 2 critical questions before they start — “what” and “why”. The first question “what” gives you the target that you’re shooting for. The second question “why” gives you the compelling business reason to do the “what”. It’s your drive; your motivation!
Before you can begin writing your plan you must answer these 2 questions from 3 distinct perspectives or dimensions. I call these the 3-dimensions of your vision. There is no set order to these dimensions, but you need all 3 or your vision will be incomplete and less effective.
The first dimension is the external factors that affect your business. These external drivers are things outside of your control such as customers, vendors, government regulations, industry standards, etc. You must understand the dynamics of these drivers and how affect your business before you can begin writing an effective business plan. They will definitely affect your “what and why”, in fact they might even define them for you!
Next, is the internal dimension. This dimension relates to your current business operation. Understanding how your business operates right now is critical because you cannot begin defining changes for the future if you do not what makes it work now. In fact, if you start changing things without knowing this first you can do serious damage! Often people will change things that work, and forget things that are broke. You’re shooting at the target blindfolded without understanding your internal dimension.
The third and final dimension is the personal dimension. Many planning processes forget or leave out this dimension. But, it’s the single most powerful ammunition you have to hit you target! The personal dimension is used to understand the “what” and “why” that drive the key people helping you realize your vision. By understanding “what” they want out of life, and “why” they want it, you can tie personal passion to business goals, aligning them so that they work together. Nothing is more powerful than passion! This dimension creates drive and motivation for the overall vision. Now you’re not working alone, everyone is working together to get what they all individually want.
If you had this information before you started writing your last business plan how much easier would it have been? If you know “what” you’re doing and “why” you’re doing it, writing the plan is easy. Writing the plan is nothing more than defining how, when, and where you plan to achieve your vision, and who will be responsible for each action. See, creating your business plan really can be easy, if you know “what” and “why”!
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