How to Make a Simple Business Plan – 8 Steps with Examples
I remember the day I had the great idea to start a business. I grabbed the computer, opened my browser, and looked up “How to start a business.” I ended up overwhelmed and confused by the amount of information.
I realized that I needed a kind of map, to tell me where to start. Something to help me see if my ideas were going to work – before investing time, money, or effort.
I discovered a simple tool that helped me: the business plan.
Surely you are thinking that making a business plan sounds complicated. I thought the same. But this is not the fault of the activity itself. Rather, it happens because most people get too complicated when things can be simpler.
Fortunately, you have found me and I am a fan of simplicity. I will see to it that you put an end to your confusion so you can finally start your business, win your freedom, and use your talent to do good things for the world.
At the end of this article, you will know what a simple business plan is, what it is for, why you need it, and how to write yours, simply.
What is a business plan?
A few yesterdays ago, GPS did not exist. There were also no telephones with Internet access. If you wanted to get to a place, you needed a map.
If at any time you got lost, just take the map out of your pocket and look at it to get back on track.
A business plan works similarly. It is a sheet where you capture the extraordinary vision you have for your business. You also explain how each of its areas works. It’s like a map, which tells you where you are going and what are the next steps you need to take to conquer your #GirlBoss dreams.
What is a business plan for?
Imagine the feeling of sitting at the desk and knowing exactly what you should focus on for your business to be a success. At all times you are clear about what you are doing and this allows you to work calmly. That’s what a business plan is all about.
A simple business plan helps you specify what you have in your head. It gives you clarity about the business you are building, keeps you focused, and solves the burden of entrepreneurship.
A good business plan separates the mediocre people who dream of having their own business, from the achievers who shake their butts and make it happen.
When you want to impress your ex, go to Starbucks, take out a notebook, take a picture of the table, and post on Instagram “Yesterday I spent the afternoon at Starbucks drinking soy lattes and writing my business plan #myEntrepreneurLife #Successful woman #GirlBoss”.
He’s going to die for letting you go.
What are the parts that you should include in your plan
The purpose of your plan is to guide you. You need something easy to understand that you can use. Below I give you a list of the elements that you must include and tips to develop each of them.
Purchase a Post-It sticky notepad. Use a note to write each point and paste it into the space provided. In this way, you can easily update your plan as your business evolves.
When writing a business plan, most people only think about specific activities or points of that business. I have a different approach. For me, business is not just money. They are also a tool that helps you create freedom and live the way you like. So when I work with a coaching client, the first thing we do is think about what her ideal lifestyle would be like. Based on that we design a business that is perfect for what she needs.
When you don’t think about your lifestyle, you can fall into something I call the “Golden Cage” which consists of building a business that can be successful but leaves you feeling resentful and frustrated.
This step is very important so set aside an afternoon, prepare a soy chai, and think about what your ideal lifestyle would be like.
A vision is a destination, a place you want to get to. It helps you focus your actions in the right direction. The following questions will help you define a vision for your business.
- A year from now, how do you want your business to look?
- What kinds of activities do you carry out in your business?
- What kind of people do you work with?
- How is your way of working?
- How many clients do you want to have per month?
- What kind of products and services do you offer?
- How many hours do you dedicate to your business per day?
Think of a big goal you have achieved, for example: Finishing college, landing your dream job, getting married, or taking a trip to Europe.
I bet the process was exciting but also complicated. You faced all kinds of obstacles and setbacks. Still, you found a way to overcome them. You never gave up.
Now try to remember
- Why did you want to get that?
- What was the purpose behind so much effort?
Maybe you were looking for a better quality of life, you wanted to show yourself that you were capable of it was an act of love.
Whatever your cause, it was strong enough to keep you motivated when things didn’t turn out the way you expected.
What does this have to do with your business plan?
Entrepreneurship is difficult. At once I warn you that you are going to face all kinds of obstacles and setbacks before seeing your dream come true. You need a strong reason to want to succeed with your business, beyond “I hate my boss and I want to quit .”
If your vision provides destiny. Your purpose is the fuel to get there.
These questions will help you find a strong motive to undertake:
- Why is it important for me to undertake it?
- Why is it important to my family?
- Why is it important to society / the world?
- What positive impact would I like to make with my business?
- What skill or talent would I like to share with others?
- In what ways am I willing to get uncomfortable to make this happen?
- Am I willing to do ANYTHING to transform my business vision into reality?
It may take some time to come up with a reason that comes from your heart. This point is one of the most important so allow yourself to reflect and connect with it. If you need support to connect with your purpose, schedule a mentoring session, and together we can find it.
If we keep it simple, a business is about finding a problem that many people have and offering them a solution in exchange for payment. Check out these examples.
|I don’t have time to clean my house||Pay to have someone do it for me||House cleaning service|
|I would like to look more attractive, but I don’t know how to dress to highlight my figure||Pay for an expert to advise me||Image consulting service|
|My computer fell into the water. Goodbye, Life.||Buaaaa … find someone to rescue my files||The store specialized in computer repair|
|I need a cup to drink my morning coffee when I get to the office. I never find mine.||Get a mug with my name on it so no one will drink it||Custom mug design|
Finding your business proposal is very easy. Think of a problem that you would like to solve for others, the solution you can offer, and the business idea that it could be transformed into.
Then write a sentence explaining what you do. Use this format:
“Has [insert problem] ever happened to you? You need [insert your solution]. I have a [insert your business idea] that can help you “
- “Has it ever happened to you that your house is a mess, but you don’t have time to clean? You need someone to help you. I have a home cleaning service that may interest you “
- “Would you like to dress well but don’t know how? You need someone to help you select clothes to highlight your silhouette. I have an image consulting service that you will love. “
- “Has it ever happened to you that your computer falls into the water and your life is over? You need someone to help you rescue your files. I can do it.”
- “Has it happened to you that you arrive at the office and your cup disappeared? You can’t have cafeeeee !!! And you get like an ogre. You need a mug with your name on it, so that no one will take it again “out of confusion.” I make custom designed mugs that you will love. “
If you still can’t find your business idea, I’d love to help you discover it. Schedule a mentoring session with me and together we can develop it.
Customers are the people who pay for your super solution and make your business dream come true. Without them, your business does not exist, it is just a hobby that takes a lot of time.
You need to find a group of people with specific characteristics that you and your business are perfect for. Keyword: specific characteristics.
Think of this as a friendship. There are people you do instant chemistry with and people you prefer to keep your distance with.
Use these questions as a guide to discover who your ideal customer might be:
- Gender (man, woman, is indifferent)
- What frustrates this person?
- What dreams and aspirations do you have?
- What are your wishes?
- What stage of your life are you in? (Ex. A new job, just graduated, just married, lost a loved one, etc.)
- Why would they be interested in your proposal?
If you are just starting your business, you may not know all the details. Write down what you know. As you put your ideas into practice, you will discover new information. And if you need support so that together we can find your ideal client, schedule a mentoring session with me. I will be happy to help you.
A common question I get when working with my mentoring clients is how much should I charge.
And I’m going to tell you a secret: There is no correct answer.
The ideal price is one with which you feel comfortable, but at the same time, it takes you a little bit out of your comfort zone.
If you think 20 is cheap, 30 is fair, and 50 is over the top, you should charge 40.
I suggest these guidelines for choosing your price for three reasons:
- A low price will make you feel resentful with your customers and without wanting to make an effort in your business
- If you charge a price that you consider too high, you will be scared to say so and you will never dare to offer your products or services. You may even feel guilty about charging so much and that’s not good either.
- When you charge a price that is adequate but at the same time challenges you, you feel excited to sell and also force yourself to grow as an entrepreneur
With this said, I am going to turn to the question that my clients ask me and I will ask it to you …
How much should you charge?
If you need help finding your price, or if you have emotional blocks with the whole issue of charging for your work, schedule a mentoring session with me and together we can solve it.
If you have followed all the sections of this tutorial:
- You defined what your ideal lifestyle looks like
- You connected with your purpose
- You found a business proposition that excites you
- You have an idea about who your ideal client could be
- You set a fair but uncomfortable price
We are making progress!
The next step is to make your ideal clients know that you exist and for that, you need to promote your business.
Some strategies you can use to promote your business:
- Make a list of potential customers and call them on the phone to offer your product or service
- Email and follow up a week or two later
- Contact them by chat
- Contact them in person
- Print flyers and distribute them in the places where your clients could meet. Every time you hand out a flyer, take a few seconds to chat with the person and find out if your idea is interesting to them.
- Send a flyer with information about your proposal on WhatsApp – only to people who might be interested
- Publish your proposal on the different social networks that you manage
These strategies can be a bit awkward. You will have to let go of your comfort zone and dare to talk to people. But it is worth it because they are super effective.
If you are stuck with the topic of promotion and you want us to develop a marketing plan together so that clients rain at your door, schedule a mentoring session! I will be happy to support you.
Next three steps to take
A plan is useless if it stays on paper. You need to take the information and put it into practice. Review your notes and choose three steps you can take at this point to get closer to the initial vision you set out.
You should be able to complete all three steps in one week. In this way, you will move towards the business project you have, without feeling overwhelmed.
For example. Suppose you want to start your own clothing brand. There are a thousand and one things to do. Start by clarifying your purpose and researching who your ideal clients would be.
The following week, you can decide on your brand name, and the next week, design a logo.
Move slowly but surely. The important thing is that you take constant action.
Being super productive one day and leaving your project abandoned for the rest of the month doesn’t do much good.
Simple business plan examples
Now that you know what elements you should include in your simple business plan, I will give you some examples of simple business plans.
Example 1: Business plan to offer a coaching service
I want to live in a small city, where there is a beach. I would like to work online and only in the evenings. So I can take advantage of my mornings to exercise, have a delicious breakfast and go for a walk with my dog.
I am just starting my coaching business, but within a year I would like to have 3 clients per month with whom I work 1 to 1 and a monthly workshop that I give virtually.
Building this business is important to me because I want to develop as a professional coach and also because I want to support women to develop healthy habits. I want to inspire you to have a healthy lifestyle and make positive changes in your diet. I am willing to be uncomfortable offering my services as a coach, even if I feel sorry for it.
Have you been trying to change your habits for years but you can’t? This happens because you have not carried out a complete process that includes mentality, environment design, and accompaniment of a coach. I have a coaching service specially designed to help you adopt healthy habits.
- Women, 30 – 45 years old.
- They feel frustrated because they have been trying for a long time to change bad habits (smoking, nail-biting, staying up late, eating junk) or trying to adopt good habits (exercise, meditation, healthy eating) and they have not succeeded.
- They start excited, stick with the habit for a week, and then quit.
- They dream of being women who achieve what they set out to do.
- They want to improve their health.
- $197 x a monthly coaching package (Includes 4 sessions)
- $97 for the monthly workshop
- I’ll make a list of potential clients to call
- I will email some people I know who might be interested
- Post my proposals on my personal Facebook and send them to my WhatsApp groups
Next three steps to take
- Define the agenda for my monthly workshop
- Design an image with the workshop information
- Post the image on my personal Facebook and send it to my WhatsApp groups
Example 2: Simple business plan to offer image consulting
I love the city I live in. I like to go out to eat 2-3 times a week and go for walks on the weekends. It is important to me to have a business that gives me the flexibility to work from home and not have to face traffic every day. I would also like my business to allow me to take one month of vacation a year.
In a year I would like to be giving lectures on image design and also have an online course where I teach how to dress according to your body type. I work almost everything online, but I also offer a Personal Shopper service.
Entrepreneurship is important to me because I want to dedicate myself to this profession that I am passionate about. Also, I believe that a woman who knows how to dress well is an empowered woman. By sharing my experience with image design, I can transform the lives of women who at this moment feel left behind and need to trust themselves again.
Do you look in the mirror and do not recognize the disaster of a woman you have become? You need a change of look, to reconnect with that incredible part of you that you have forgotten. I would love to help you create a new look!
- 31-45 years
- They feel frustrated when they look in the mirror and they do not like what they see, a neglected woman, who has been neglected and does not pay attention
- She has a dream of being an attractive woman, who turns her eyes when she walks down the street. To feel safe in the clothes you wear, to enjoy the process of choosing your outfit every morning, getting ready, and looking pretty.
- She is going through an important process of change in her life: divorce, a new mother, a new job, moving to another country, just married, the loss of a relative, etc.
- The price of my online course will be USD 127
- The price of a personal shopper is $ 297
- The entrance to one of my conferences is $ 47 or $ 497 if someone hires me to give it
- I will go visit my friend who is a psychologist and works with women to see if together we can organize a conference
- I will post my course information online on my networks. I will also make a list of friends who might be interested and call them.
Next three steps to take
- Call my psychologist friend to arrange a meeting
- Define the topic and content of my online course
- Research platforms to offer my course online
Example 3: Business plan for the personal trainer
I want to live in a medium-sized city. Have time to take my children to school and pick them up. Do homework together. While they are in school, take advantage to work on my business. I want to work from home, so I can spend more time with my children. But only in the mornings and maybe two days in the afternoon, but the rest of the afternoons and the weekend leave them free to spend time with them.
In a year I would like to have a 28-day challenge to get fit, where 30 women participate. I would also like to create an eBook where I share my philosophy on fit life, exercise, and eating plan.
For me, it is important to develop as a personal trainer because I have gone through many challenges with my health. Now, I want to share everything I have learned with other women over 40 who may be in a similar situation to mine. My experiences, in addition to the knowledge I have as a personal trainer, will be of great help to you. I want everyone in the world to be able to achieve a healthy lifestyle. This project is also important because it will allow me to spend more time with my children and have balance in my life.
Do you want to start exercising, but don’t know how? You need a comprehensive diet and exercise plan that fits your lifestyle. As a personal trainer, passionate about balance, and a specialist in women over 40 I can help you design it.
- Older than 40 years
- Have had health complications and need to adopt a healthy eating and exercise plan
- They feel that starting an exercise plan at their age is too complicated and they don’t know where to start
- They feel confused about eating
- They long to regain the vitality and enthusiasm they had when they were younger
- They want to find an exercise plan that they enjoy.
- 28-day challenge – $97
- eBook – $27 USD
- Find Facebook groups for women over 40 and create 5 posts where I explain my philosophy
- Contact my friends and tell them about my 28-day fit challenge
- Send three messages to WhatsApp groups to which I belong
Next three steps to take
- Find 3 Facebook Groups for Women Over 40
- Create the posts that I am going to put in the group
- Make the content for the fit challenge
8 Steps to Create Your Simple Business Plan Without Headaches
Let’s recap. A business plan is like a map that helps you be clear about the business you want to build. By keeping it in mind, you feel calm and the burden of undertaking disappears. These are the 8 steps you must follow to write a good plan:
- Start by expressing the vision of life and business that you want.
- Define your purpose, the characteristics of your customers, your proposal, the means of promotion that you will use to expose it, and its price. If there is something you do not know yet, you can leave it blank. Do not forget to introduce it in the “Next 3 steps to take”
- Write down the key points for each item on an 8 x 8 cm sticky note.
- Print out your template for the simple business plan. Paste each note in the appropriate space.
- By viewing the information in an orderly manner, you can easily choose your 3 action steps.
- Take action!
- Review the results of your actions and modify each element as you deem necessary. I suggest you do this review once a week.
6 Keys To Succeed With Your Simple Business Plan
The plan that I have just given you is extremely simple, but it does not stop being effective. I have included the basic elements of a functional and profitable business.
If you focus on these six points, you can be confident that your business is going to take off:
- Connect with your vision and purpose, the reason for your undertaking. Keep them always present. Something I like to do is check them once a month.
- Create opportunities to interact with your customers. Either in person or through digital communities such as Facebook groups, Telegram, and WhatsApp chats or forums. Make an effort to get to know them better than they know themselves.
- Your product or service may be the best in the world, but if you keep them locked in the closet, no one will find out about their existence. Promote your business like there is no tomorrow.
- Experiment with your price until you find one that makes you feel abundant and at the same time is suited to your customer’s needs.
- Take massive and constant action.
Just as your interests change throughout different stages of your life, your plan is a document that will be constantly evolving. Just because something seems like a good idea right now does not mean that you will continue to think the same tomorrow.
For this reason, I suggest you carry out a monthly review of your plan, where you think again about all the elements and make the necessary adjustments. If you need support to write your plan or to review the one you already have, schedule a mentoring session, and together we can review it.
About the Author
You are here to make a difference. I am here to make sure that happens. Together we will build a business and a life of freedom, where purpose, money, and happiness exist in abundance.