Get Motivated to Write Your Business Plan
Who the hell “wants” to write a plan for their business? Not me. You? There is only one reason I would develop one…funding for GI Money. Cash. Moola. SBA Loan. It’s that thing you need to get your great idea rolling. Even though you also need a passionate elevator pitch, without a plan, you are just another loser with “an idea that’d make millions, for real, if I only just had some…”. Do you see where I am going with this?
Is that motivation enough for you? Maybe. Maybe not. I am currently writing one, and let me tell you, I don’t like it. It’s about as fun as writing a résumé or having your finger nails ripped out with a pair of rusty pliers. But it’s for my “great idea.” So I will have to suffer through it. I want it…bad. I will commit. I will succeed.
a carefully crafted business plan isn’t useful just for getting start-up financing, but can be an important sales tool for the life of the business. – David E. Gumpert
I have that sense of urgency. I was bitten by the entrepreneur bug. I no longer want to report to a boss, or even a committee of bosses. I acknowledge that I need to create it, but the desire to actually “do” it is not there.
If you’re stuck in neutral or just trying to kick-start your dream, here are some quick thoughts to get you going. I practice what I preach. I have taken these steps.
Watch the movie Jerry Maguire.
Jerry (played by Tom Cruise) is a cut throat sports agent who changes his life’s priorities after a kid makes him feel like crap for being patronizing and disregarding his father’s serious sports-related injury. As Jerry puts it “I ate 2 slices of bad pizza, went to sleep and woke-up with a conscience.” He goes one step further though. He proceeds to write a revolutionary “memo”, distributes copies of it to all his work associates and manages to lose his job shortly after. He later remarks that “it was actually a mission statement.”
Jerry teams-up with an office clerk and a flamboyantly-miserable football player (played by Cuba Gooding, Jr.) to start his own sports agency. One client. One dream. This story is a great illustration of entrepreneurship at its finest. I was inspired to begin writing my biz plan while watching this on Netflix.
This is not a plug for Netflix, just fact. Movies help get my creative juices flowing. Whatever works for you, do it. Music maybe? A drink or three? Just get it going now. Netflix advertising dept., if you are reading this, I’d love to speak with you about this great outreach tool I am developing. Strategic alliance, maybe you’d like?
Get some business plan writing software.
I wanted someone to help me get my thoughts organized. I needed to put the different biz plan requirements into the proper (or more proper) format. I tried finding a mentor through SCORE I had sent an email to them 3 weeks from this article’s post date. No reply. I recall attempting to contact them in 2 prior business efforts. No reply either. What is their deal anyway? I don’t have time to waste on this or them.
I found a small business support group at my local university. The problem with that is it rarely meets (once a month business plan writing) and when it does, it appears to be like a classroom-type situation with 25-30 students asking random questions. I did manage to get the name of the software package they offer through the course (Ultimate Business Planner). Sounds pretty spectacular…not. It’s discounted, but it’s PC-only and it looks lame. I use Macs and I have never heard of this program.
I used LivePlan. It’s an online version of Business Plan Pro, published by Palo Alto Software. It’s software I have heard of before. It costs $99 for the Business Plan Pro application, but only $20 a month for the online service (Live Plan). Not to mention, Tim Berry, who owns Palo Alto Software, has a great blog site. I was sold. Done! Forward progress begins.
Find a good Business Plan template.
Maybe you don’t need software? Maybe you just need a template and/or more ideas? Most people I contacted weren’t very forthcoming with their personal plans. I have come to learn this because of the many people that have not provided it when I asked. I got a slew of excuses. But there was only one real conclusion. No. I suppose when you pour your heart and soul into a document, it’s worth more than the thumbdrive it lives in. When I finish mine, I might understand. Time will tell.
Meanwhile, go to Entrepreneur.com and look at the templates. I was told to review them by just as many people as I asked to view their business plans. I wonder if their is a connection? Interesting, huh?
>Tip: Make sure your business plan has a SWOT Analysis.
- Watch a good & inspiring flick
- Get some online or software-based help
- Duplicate (or go copy) someone else’s “template”
If that doesn’t help, go watch The Social Network. I am watching it right now as I write this. FaceBook, Napster and good ole American Greed. It’s 2011. what have you done lately?