small business plans

Why Every Business Needs a Business Plan by @smartstep

by Andrea Travillian | Featured Contributor

It is that time of year again  where things are stressful, chaotic and you never quite feel like you have done enough.

I am talking about business planning time!

You thought I was going to say holidays, but nope to me business planning can evoke those emotions more than the holidays.

small business plansA question I commonly get is do I really need to do a full business plan?  I don’t need to get financing so why should I bother?

A business plan is more than just a way to get financing.

A business plan lays the map for how you are going to run your business in the upcoming year.  Just as you need a map to drive from New York to California you need a map of how to get your business for start-up to successful profitable business.

Without it you might be successful, but it will be hard to get exactly where you want to go, on budget and without too many detours.

You don’t need to do a full out business plan that you would use to get funding, after all you don’t need to sell you that you are the right person to lead the company!  So what exactly do you need to have for a small business plan?

There are three things that you should plan out for your business if you do nothing else.

Goals

You need to have something to aim for and by writing down your business goal you have a better chance of actually achieving it.  Why?

Because when it is on paper and your reference back to it you are continually reminded of what you are aiming for.  It makes it easier to keep your eye on the prize!

For bonus points tell someone your goal for the year so they can help you stick to it, a mastermind is a great way to do this.

Create a Budget

Otherwise known as a Profit and Loss statement.

This is a plan for your revenues, expenses and ultimately profits.  Without a plan for how you are going to get to profitability it is easy to spend where you should not and not sell the most profitable products or services.

Your profit and loss plan will help you know your limits and the best way to increase profits.

Marketing Plan

Your marketing plan is the details on how you are going to achieve those goals you set.  From the marketing plan, you can build the budget for getting the sales you need and still have a profit.

These three items work together to give you a plan for the year that helps you achieve your business goals.

Can you be successful without a plan?  Yes, but you dramatically increase your chances for success by creating a plan that will walk you step by step to your goals!

I would love to hear about how you plan for the upcoming year in business?

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Financial Coach for Business Owners – Andrea Travillian

Andrea TravillianI am a financial coach specializing in helping business owners use their businesses to create the financial freedom they crave.   We accomplish this by creating enough profits to move the money to other investments and eventually to sell the business.
My training is in finance with a degree from the University of Iowa and my MBA from Creighton University.  I have worked in banking, corporate finance, taxes, and retirement investing both in the United States and abroad in Australia.   In 2008 I started working with individuals and micro businesses to help them understand,  manage and grow their money.
I am a natural long term planner with the ability to help you focus on the future, set goals that will get you there and organize your life and business to help you achieve your goals.   If you are seven years from retirement or 25 years from retirement getting the right plan in place will help you get where you want to go.
I have been seen in Women’s Health, Fox Business, About.com and Refinery29.  I have four easy to read books on personal finance and I enjoy talking to groups about the benefits of financial health.
When I am not learning about personal finance and business, I enjoy time with my husband and son.  I love health, fitness, coffee, and the beach!
You can connect with me on most of the social media channels including Twitter and Facebook and at my website Take A Smart Step.

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