Constructing a Business Plan
Your business plan. I also believe I included a copy of that in the worksheets that you guys have and sometimes this can be the most exciting, but maybe the most daunting part of your business because this is time for your to execute all of the excitement that you've had, all the research that you've done. Now, it's time for you to actually put a plan together and sometimes it's hard for us as business owners to have a lot of foresight. It's hard for us to think, okay, what's the five-year plan? Because, in reality, you first have to even understand what type of business that you want to be. Do you want to be a small business or do you want to be a big business? Small business, very great and they're necessary in this world, but you are trading your time in for money. You have to ask yourself, in knowing that I am doing that, in knowing that I am the business, I am the asset, what do I want to make sure that I am laying out as my plan? Same thing if you want to be a big business. What ...
is your plan in order for you to achieve that, because it's going to require different activities. That has to be the thing that you have to get clear with the most and sometimes people, unfortunately, get into business, they start chugging along, they start to build this resentment because they weren't clear on what they wanted. I will say that if you do decide to go into partnership with someone, make sure that your why and their why is the same. Because if your why is that you want to be a small business, but their why is they want to create a big business, you're gonna have some tough crossroads when you reach the point where you're chugging along. If you didn't create a business plan, 'cause if you created the business plan you would've seen that. But, you're gonna be chugging along and one day, it's just, the business will break because you guys are butting heads. I would just get clear on what you want in that spectrum. You can decide if you want to create a one-year business plan. You can decide if you want to do a five-year business plan and you can decide on how intricate you want it to be. Sometimes people can just use, they can use like a, there's this little canvas. I think I put it in the sheet here, that just kind of breaks out just a smaller-scale strategy and how you want to maneuver. If you want to be a little bit more intricate and specific, that usually is because you're trying to share this business plan with an investor. Just decide on where you want to start and not being, you just wanna make sure that you're concise with the intention of adapting it as you grow. I mentioned earlier that if you're a smaller business or a startup, a little bit more of a straightforward approach is using this business model canvas. I think you guys have probably seen it before and it's by Alex Osterwalder. There are nine components to it. I'll breakdown those components for you. The first here are key partnerships. These are just the businesses or services that you guys will be working alongside to help your business function. This can be suppliers, this can be manufacturers, it can be subcontractors, graphic designers. You just wanna be really clear on who are going to be those key partnerships for you. The next here would be key resources. You want to list all the resources that you plan on leveraging to create value for your customers. These are assets which can be people or things. What are the resources that you're gonna leverage to get your business functioning? The next here would be your value proposition and this is basically your mission statement. It should be a digestible and compelling statement about the value that your company is gong to bring to the market that you're serving. Next here, your customer relationships. You're gonna just detail exactly how you plan on interacting with your customers. For example, is it in-person transactions, is it online? Will it be, again, automated or more personal? You just wanna consider the user experience or the customer experience from start to finish. Next here are customer segments. The sixth component of that personal, Osterwalder, is the customer segment where you're just trying to figure out, who are you going to serve? Your business, it just won't be for everybody and that's something that you have to be clear on. Identify and list who your target market is and you pretty much did that earlier on when we were talking, when we were identifying who the ideal customer is. You're really taking a lot of the research that you've done during your market research and putting that on your business plan. Then, channels. It basically, in other words, is how will you actually talk to your customers? Will you be face-to-face, on a website, via social media, through a call center, via direct mail? It can certainly be a mix of all of those things, it's just that you wanna pinpoint the one that works the best for the type of customer you have. If your customers are predominantly millennials, maybe it doesn't make sense to send them direct mail. They're probably not going to read it, but if you send them something that's maybe an email marketing or something through a social channel, maybe that would reach them better. It's just deciding on which channels will be best for your ideal customer. Then, your cost structure. You pretty much went through this when you're doing your research here, but basically what's your cost to profit ratio? In knowing this, you can see if your business is actually profitable under the structure that you create. You just wanna understand what's going to be the most significant cost that you'll face on the journey as you're starting with your business. Finally, you want to understand your revenue streams. Basically, how is your company going to get this money? List how the possible revenue streams, which can include direct sales, membership fees, subscriptions, selling advertising space, speaking engagements, industry events. There are so many different revenue streams that you can utilize. With that being said, I wanted to thank you guys so much for having me here. It's been a wonderful time just trying to really be effective here in teaching some of the things I've uncovered while going through business. If you guys ever want to reach out to me, this is my social media here on both Instagram and Twitter @karenokonkwo.