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Powerful Business Planning

Lesson 19 of 20

What Goes Into Your Plan?

Barbara Findlay Schenck

Powerful Business Planning

Barbara Findlay Schenck

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Lesson Info

19. What Goes Into Your Plan?

Lesson Info

What Goes Into Your Plan?

I also really appreciate all of the attendants all of the feedback all of the help with additional advice and I do urge you to think about two courses we just learned about that complement this one beautifully one is the pricing and business models for creatives that's coming up on creative live and the other one is the kickstarter campaign. Warren and I were just talking about a san francisco organization just this week that made its goal one hundred thirty thousand one hundred twenty thousand dollars and there's one hundred twenty eight and when you have a kickstarter campaign and it goes over that money is yours the point is you have to make your goal for the program to work and this one worked and everything over it is not gravy because there is no gravy in small business it's all needed but if they get it all and how to do it will be coming up in that kickstarter campaign. So if you're thinking about that it's a very nice complimentary of course to this one my point to you the rea...

son I mentioned those two is don't stop learning don't stop trying don't stop expanding your knowledge and always work on achieving the focus do anything you can to acquire the knowledge that allows you to implement your goals which necessitates focus and you've heard a lot about that today now we're going to bring it together into the business plan and what goes into a business plan and I'm going to start with the slide I showed you before keep it simple if you do nothing more than this which will be accomplished by completing the templates that come in the purchase packet and that includes all of the write it down segments you've seen so far if you do nothing more than that you've done your planning and planning is more important than the plan the plan is very important to bring others online but you cannot do it without the's steps first it it's very very essence this is what goes into your planning your situation today that's that first check list I gave you that went to everybody whether they enrolled or purchase the where your starting point checklist what is your situation today? What changes do you aim to achieve what milestones and time from where you're going to set up for yourself you are going to do this by this state this by this state this by this state you need inner milestones what is your business description? How are you going to tell people what you are and what you do so that they can support you in your efforts whether that means by buying what you offer or by supporting the business you're trying to build? What are your projected costs and expenses an essential part of business planning and that's why I want a lot of you who aren't currently budgeting for a salary who are running your business and thinking it's profitable and maybe it is thinking it's profitable but only looking at outside expenses and not the expense for what you would be charging anyone else to work for them. I want you to factor that in there so that you could begin to really see is this business paying off and set some goals to pay yourself? Mohr if you worked for someone, you'd be waiting wanting a raise, so to grant how you're going to give yourself a raise, you're only going to do that by projecting reasonable costs and real expenses and that will give you your projected revenue and I want you to do some cash flow projections to know when that revenue will come in and therefore and how you're going to generate it that's that business model that we talked about and that will give you what you need to know about funding needs based on that revenue you're projecting. I want you to set a goal in objectives and strategies for how you're going to reach the goal that you set out for yourself and who you need to bring on board in terms of financial support, emotional support, mentor support or actual operational support that is the very, very essence of a business plan and I'm willing to put really money on it a lot of businesses don't have that and if you have it, everything becomes easier for one thing, you begin to know what to say no to and even to say not this year that's not our focus this year somebody else say to you you know what, there's a lot of people over in this area we should be that's not our focus issue, but let me put it in long range planning you know what to say no to and that keeps you on the road to success and out of that absolute pile up of businesses that are driving in circles running out of gas, idling in neutral, taking a wrong off ramp. So this is the very least keep it simple business planning elements here's what you need to do, you need to start assembling and you can get out if you want the business planning templates because here they all are these air simply a compilation of all the write it down slides from these two days write it down state claim to your business, dream your business today the changes you're planning a lot of you have already done this, but I really want you before it's done and I did this is a work sheets you could actually scribbled things right into it next thing is your milestone priorities and timeframe you've been through this I wanted to have my business plan done by I want business funding by I want toe launch my business or product by first or major new customer by you've seen all these these are not new, but they're coming back to you because if you haven't done it yet, you either have to do it now because you know and you just haven't written it down or you have to commit to what it'll take to get it done positive cash flow, profitability become scaleable by this would be additional streams of revenue that take it off your shoulders if you provide and sell time by the hour and ultimate and this is always my dream is the author of selling your business for dummies that you want to sell it by, and I would love you to put that, at least in the distant, distant background of your mind as you do everything else because most business sales happen for utterly unexpected reasons most business closures, most people all of a sudden somebody gets sick are obvious and somebody gets divorced all of a sudden somebody just gets fed up can't stand there, partner whatever and they close the business and if they hadn't planned all along for some point we might sell the business that business isn't saleable and businesses make the most unexpected and often the most money they're going to make at the time of sale so it's worth it always to think about deep down could I ever sell this business even to get and protecting an online name so thoroughly everywhere that at the very least you could put that for sale? Um so write down your milestones and priorities there's a template for that currently I have a define your current situation I want to define the change you're planning for to succeed in making this change I'm planning to do this by this state this by this state this by this state no more than three don't give yourself a long, long long list there might be a lot of milestones within this milestone but three major things because otherwise there's that overwhelm that we're going to take away from you this isn't about overwhelming you it's about narrowing your path, not broadening it write it down your business description some of you already did that you brought it in today people have called sent in their descriptions online some of people it's already done you're offering to target customer the need to address and solution you provide your distinct edge value and competitive point of difference that's what your business description tales and you're going to be ready to tell it in any way engaging manner that makes people like your business want to know more want to know how to reach you, how to reach your products, you're going to be ready with that online and in person since we are I provide this for these people who seek this unique solution customers choose are offering over others because here's what makes us special trustable likable best in our field no matter how small that niches write it down the purpose of your business why your business exists this is your broader purpose to empower people to inspire people to reward resilience this is your vision the change you aim to make in your business world the need to address why people will choose you over all others in some ways this comes back to the yoga business that we heard about earlier that are interested in so many things if they can come up with why they exist the covers all of those that's their answer why do you exist? We exist to reward resilience you changed your business, brigitte from curvy women two courageous people who bring all their situations unique as they are to the mat that becomes her vision it's very elastic that's what you want to dio write it down formula for a purpose statement we've been through this begin with a statement that describes the change you want to make, then add a clause summarizing the need your business addresses and why people will select you example and here's the brewpub again if they consent a lofty vision you can sell off division, write it down your quick financial projection don't get hung up on what we'll know our projection when we hire an accountant and this and that it can't be that hard to sit down, get riel used the gig to business uh checklist that's in your materials and there's a chart of accounts in there just go down that chart of accounts and write down what you think you spend every year in that category. What do you spend on training? What do you spend on travel? What do you spend on it? What do you spend on utilities? Just fill in the numbers zero based budget you write it all down, added up that's your costs and I would recommend that you also put into it what you want to pay yourself. But um and then your revenue you project your revenue, you look at all those revenue streams we talked about in the business model and you say, what do we realistically think each of those will deliver to our business? That's your quick financial projection it's not that hard. You don't have to have this in beautiful gold standard forms for this purpose. Then you decide do you need funding and how much we went through this? I don't to go through it again, write it down your business model, we've gone through this, we're going through it again because this is absolutely, positively essential how do you generate revenue and profit? Please write this down. Please, please, please write this down. What do you sell into? Whom? How revenue flows in your sales approach? How do you get it out there? How do your customers buy it from you and your profitability projection? This is your business model. I want everyone to have one and frankly, this is probably the most important thing of all your business description in this write it down based on that. What are your goals and objectives? What is the overall target you want to reach? And what are the measurable objectives you need to achieve in order to reach that overall target? Write it down. Key strategies for reaching your objectives example increase off premise and events sales is the goal the objective is introduced. Both pricing increase retail distribution launch mobile pub by july one you're going to know if you did this or not, but you'll know along the way if you're doing this or not, if you don't meet the meet these milestones toward that goal, you're probably not going to reach that goal unless wildly something over projects over overproduce is for you. Maybe you introduce this bulk pricing and get alone so takes off in so many people are buying based on bulk and it's freeing up so much of your personal time because you're no longer having to sell everything individually it might be that you actually decide to hold off on this mobile pub it's ok to change your strategies if you're meeting your goal in another way it's okay to adapt along the way and then write it down what are your strategies for operations are you going to change location changes in equipment changes in staffing the's air all in here all you have to do is go through here and start taking your notes and making making your plans I don't need to wrestle these paypal's papers but I want to get this turned um operational strategies just go down the line do you have any of these that you're going to do if so you're going to plug those in product strategies are you going to emphasize one product over the others? Are you going to do something with your product name packaging and labeling are you going to do anything about your pricing change anything about your pricing increase it decrease it offer promotional pricing offer bulk pricing offer incentive pricing for certain kinds of orders going to do anything with your features and benefits even if you do nothing with your features but you start presenting different benefits like I told you arm and hammer baking soda did are you going to introduce the product and don't forget what I said about product introductions they fail for the same reason they they succeed and that's enthusiasm make sure your enthusiasm for what you want to offer matches the enthusiasm of the of the marketplace and terror and I were talking right before the class and that is sometimes it's worth it to dio prototype, get it around to customers and find out what do they really think of it and what would they do different? These will allow you to do it right? Maybe not do it right do it profitably in a manner that resonates with the buyer. And will you offer some product quality assurances? Write it down. What are your strategies for your product? What are your strategies for distribution? Are you going to change how you distribute your offerings, including the addition or shift of emphasis of channels? Are you going to say I'm going to do more with online video so that I can free some time in the studio? That would be a shift of distribution? Are you going to deliver your products differently, including delivery pricing guarantees anything like that? Are you going to make changes? Are you going to develop any off premise relationships that allow you to open new distribution channels, write it down, use this worksheet, it comes with the purchase pack download or you can just watch the rebroadcast even and try and write these down so that you know what it is you need to accomplish organizational strategies even a one person business, even a freelancer needs to do this. It doesn't need to take much time. You can go through this one template and jot your things down. How will you attract and work with quality partners and suppliers? How will you build and participating networks manage and leverage business contacts that's your organizational structure. Are you going to do something different? Are you going to join a meet up group or a networking group? Are you going to establish a supplier relationship that will allow you to generate more organizationally? What are you going to do different this year? Because if you do nothing different, then whatever success you had last year is the success you can accept. Expect this year or more so the trend you seem for the last few years will continue. If you're not happy with where you are, what are you going to do differently? Those air your strategies, your marketing plan you now know the ten steps to creating a complete marketing plan. Jot it down. What are you going to do, what's your situation? What's your customer? Who are your competition? Who is your competition? What is your brand and creative strategy? And what marketing strategies there you're going to follow to prove not promote your pricing products, place or distribution changes and promotions, write it down who do you need to bring on board and I'm pretty sure that's really this is really the last part whose help do you need to make this successful and that gets you back to that first starting starting point checklist for the back page of that checklist is target audiences and what you need to say to each one to get them to help you with the help you need whether it's your close circle whether you need some more employees support you need better morale in your company you need whatever it tells you what they need to hear what your investors need to hear so go through and look at who do you need to bring on board look at that first starting point checklist page of who is your target audience and what did they need to hear? Make sure you are prepared to say what they need to say to give you the support you need to have to make it all happen if you stop here I'm happy if you stop here I'm happy because I'll know you've done the planning if you make the next step you'll be happy because you'll have it in writing this is a summary of the information that's in the back of that one piece the next step is to assemble and produce your business plan don't do that part for me do the first part for me the first part is the planning this party is for you so that you have a road map in writing that you can refer to from time to time you can go through, you can check things off and everybody gets the this checklist it is in the enrollment pack and really it's just to keep the assembly of your business plan on track for pet plans of ten pages or more and most of you are not going to have a plan of more than ten pages unless you're really going for serious funding or some major expansion but if it issue need a table of contents because you're trying to make who's ever getting this thing really make it easy for them to read because your purpose is that they will read it and support it if it's more than ten pages for that same reason it needs an executive summary and those of you who buy the purchase pack there's a business plan workbook that you get that really thoroughly tells you in template form what you need to do you type in your business name you drop in your logo you put in the date and your address and contact information and then you go through everything executive summary and there's a checklist it says it's necessary implants of that run ten or more pages it's necessary if you're targeting investors if you are checked those off that's necessary for you, then it goes down and you can check off every element that needs to go into that it tells you what it needs to include and even in many places a little template if you're seeking loans or investments, check it off. That means you need to cover that detail. This thing is your road map it's your template, it's your checklist and how you follow up on yourself. All plans need to have a business overview where you put your idea and or your business mission into words you state your major goals you state a definition of your products and services you define your business model now you don't have to give tremendous detail in terms of we will make this much money off of this stream you want to know that, but you don't need to show all your cards, but you need to have people believe you're holding a winning hand and you want to know you're holding a winning hand that's the beauty of this and your business structure remember that whole thing about whether you're a sole proprietorship or whatever and did everybody agree to get it out of their personal checkbook online all over the world? Are you going to quit running your business out of your personal checkbook? If so, I feel victorious anyway everything to do with each of these sections is defined in the business plan workbook that is part of the download with purchase business plan elements and you all have this piece so the very least, if you enrolled, you've got this overview to keep you on track. All plans need to to know to define the business environment, a summary of what's going on in our business arena or industry. What are the barriers to entry that we either need to or have overcome and that we have built to protect ourselves from others encroaching on our success area? What is your market overview what's going on? Is that growing? Is that declining is how is it changing? What is your customer profile in? As brigitte said, if you're going to stress a particular product line, what is the profile of the customer for that segment? This is even a good place to talk about. Here is our customer profile. Here is the profile of our ideal customer, our most profitable customer, and we're going to skew in this way there's something called the eighty twenty rule it's actually called pareto sla p a r t o possibly s pro cradles rock lar perennials rule, and it maintains that in any situation twenty percent of success comes from eighty percent of success comes from twenty percent of participants, and twenty percent of problems come from twenty percent of participants create eighty percent of problems it's your job to figure out which twenty percent for providing your greatest amount of revenue the eighty percent of your revenue without causing the eighty percent of the problems so that's part of this customer profile who is the ideal so it is worth it to do a little bit of homework in that area competitive analysis what's happening out there competitors of folding huge opportunity unless they're folding because conditions have changed so much that you can step it up but you're going to have to adapt to whatever it was that got them. So this is very important in your business plan environmental impact or green plans anymore it's really worth it to consider that people want to know is your business green? We did a deal of the ad agency back when when I didn't I never did understand peter understood but what this machine we had put out silver in the in the waste water because it was like a typesetting machine or something out on what it was anyway we bought a silver recapture thing so that we could recapture the silver and not dump it into the water and actually could resell the silver it was amazing clients or knocked out over the fact that we were recapturing silver and not polluting the water a lot of times you do it because it's the right thing but it ends up being a very important differentiating thing that improves customer experience an online presence analysis everyone should do that I think that you really should follow a social mention or something like that used to be google alerts, they took it away so that every time you're mentioned online, you know about it so you can respond quickly, thank people and for everyone, I'm going to say this to the international audience for everyone or the online audience who tweeted thanks tweeted out about this course, I liked my facebook page! I haven't gone to all of you yet because of this course has been a little consuming, but I appreciate it and people need to know they're appreciated. Everything about social media is about interaction. If you're not monitoring the interactions, you cannot optimized that relationship with people. So everybody, thank you, I appreciate it. What you're going to see in this is where it's green this is important to everyone but it's a sentence especially important to people in these situations. So as you're doing this checklist, be sure if you're starting up or seeking funds or if you have environmental impact that you address these in detail for all plans you need to know how to describe your business. We talked about that. I will say it one more time. You need to be able to tell your highlights in a hurry and then to back it up with information about a true description of your offering your capabilities, your management introductions particularly if you have more than just you and not not just you you're important to even be able to put in your own bio no more than a half page but something that explains why you are the credible person for this undertaking to achieve the goals that you're outlining and if you have management one for each of the key managers also sometimes it's worth it to put it in for your mentors for those who are supporting near business for boards of you're bored if you're asking for funds they're going to look for who's already on board so this is important especially for those seeking funding your organization your key strengths, major plans for change detail your strategy here's where you give details of your business model beforehand you said we you know this is how we make money but here you really give details how do customers approach you? How are sales handled? What is the profitability ratio detail your strategy for your business model including how it's changing if you own an existing business and I would like to think anyone with an established business who's been with us for two days is thinking right now about changing their business model to broaden the revenue streams and to emphasize the most profitable revenue streams that also happened to have the best growth potential so talk about your business model details including changes goals and objectives for the plan period this isn't where you have your mission your mission was earlier, which is your long term goal? This is for the business plan period you're marketing plans summary your swat analysis findings particularly important for one person businesses who need to continue to strengthen capabilities those were shareholders or those seeking funding or transitioning for sale. You need to go through your exit strategy you don't have to put it in writing, but I'd love you to think about it because warren said it in partnerships, a lot of partnerships break up because something happens to one of the partners even you know you hate to say it, but even unexpected death and they're not prepared with an exit strategy and it's a mess and so you should all have an exit strategy. What will happen? What if I don't want to work this hard and so that's important? And I have a book but I could recommend, but you can also go to my website and read the first chapter of any of these books, and sometimes the first chapter of a dummy's book really is an overview of the whole books. You can get an awful lot from just that first chapter that you can read online, turn around or growth plans, crisis management plans if you have a business that you know is susceptible to crisis um and I've done a lot of columns on this what are the indicators I mean if you know that you're at risk of environmental disaster if you know you're in a ski resort in it's a crisis if it doesn't snow you have to be prepared what do you do when that strikes and it isn't always that somebody got uh arrested or something like that you need to have a crisis plan in portland right now we have a wonderful company called dave's killer bread you probably have it down here too but they're there headquartered in portland wonderful bread and it's a family business and one of their sons dave I had some real issues and ended up in the state penitentiary and got out and they brought him to the bakery and they ended up building their whole brand around him dave's killer bread it's really it's in costco it's all over the place it's really really good bread will dave last month got in trouble again hit three cop cars and it was a big problem so this is a crisis now I would hope they would have had a crisis management a plan in place knowing that this is the kind of business it's susceptible to crisis so you look around what's the worst that could happen and what if it happened? This is your what if planning how do we have a crisis management plan if in fact we're susceptible all plans need to have financial review section that gives their financial forecasts and we got that good question yesterday a brand new howto I forecast zero based you go through every possible revenue stream what do you think you can make your financial forecast and then you back it if you have it with financial statements and if you don't have it with what's called pro forma financial statements where you take the balance sheet, the cash flow statement and the income statement which is also called the profit and loss statement and instead of giving three years of history of those air two years of history of those statements you do two or three years of forecasts of what you believe your business can achieve your budget and then anything you're doing too meet necessary regulations and requirements all plans need an action plan this is where you say and in order to meet those objectives here's what we're going to be doing and then if your plan requires supporting information, don't put it in the plan people don't want to read a book they want to read an overview, but if they're interested attach the analyses attached the findings of your industry information that I said that you could get from media or associations about you're interested give them the information so that if they have questions they can get the answers give them documentation research specifications on your products spreadsheets. Whatever it takes if and also these air information that you might only want to give to some people if you think it might get into the hands of a competitor, you don't want to give all of your analyses so some is more closely held than others employees you might on lee want to give. If you had a business with lots of employees and some people turning in, do you might want to only give them the executive summary and not give them all the details? Not on lee, because you're withholding that information or that you're holding it closely held, but because they don't want to read all that, they just want to see the big story. Is this company going somewhere? Am I going to stick with this business? Is there's something in it for me and always when you deliver your business plan that's your point what's in it for me and in the case of a one person business, what's in it for you is knowing where your business is going.

Class Description

Tens of thousands of new small businesses are started every year -- does yours have a concrete plan in place to ensure it succeeds? Join marketing strategist and small business advocate Barbara Findlay Schenck for an introduction to fast-track business planning.

Throughout this course, you’ll learn how to write and implement a business plan by clarifying your goals: how much time you have to devote to your business, how many people need to buy your product, and how much money you’ll be able to make. You’ll also learn how to set up your business legally and legitimately -- without dipping into your personal finances. Barbara will also cover the marketing and finance skills every small business owner needs to know.

By the end of this course, you’ll have a smart, strategic plan for starting, managing, and growing your business.


a Creativelive Student

Really looking forward to this course with great anticipation to learn how to put a comprehensive business plan together for a full-time & part-time wedding & portrait photography business, what are the important steps involve to create a business plan and what all should be included in such plan, when or if you should amend your business plan, should you have two business plans (a simple plan & a very detail plan).

Christina Majoinen

This course was great. I'm at the very beginning stages of creating my business, and this course really helped me to think through everything I need to plan for.


Great class!!