I’d like to call your attention to a series of video tutorials I did not that long ago as a donation to this community. They are all here and I’d like you to be aware of them. They are organized into modules, 2-10 minutes each. You can pick and choose and jump around, or run through them in the original order. They are here as a resource for you. (Note: the text in bold here highlights links to the videos)
- Introduction and orientation. 2 minutes 13 seconds (2:13). What’s planning, why do you care, why the planning is more important than the plan.
- Planning is modular. 1:26. Think of your business plan as a matter of blocks, like interrelated pieces. You don’t have to have the whole block structure done before you take any next steps. Start your blocks where you like.
- Form follows function. 4:45. Keep it short and simple in the beginning, and grow it as you grow your business. It might be projections plus slides, bullet points, or whatever serves the business need.
- Planning is management. 1:20. It’s not a document, it’s planning process, which is about steering your company. Goals, metrics, milestones, review and revise.
- Strategy. 8:04. Strategy is focus. Focus your business offering to your target market, and use planning to develop and manage priorities and steps. Strategy is the heart.
- Flesh and bones. 10:25. About the plan document itself. Milestones, metrics, responsibilities, and getting things done.
- Sales forecast. This one is so important – and causes so much fear and doubt – that it’s not a single video, but three of them. The first is 4:51, second 3:10, and third is 9:27. I promise you, sales forecasting is far easier than you fear. Anybody who can run a business can do it.
- Dress and grow your business plan. 12:15. As your company grows, your planning grows. As you grow, if you add people to your team, then you want to bring them into the process and make sure you’re on the same page. You bring in skills. The business gets more complex as it grows. Cash flow gets more sophisticated.
- The formal business plan document. This is another with three videos: 5:39, 8:48, and 2:26. How you can fine-tune your plan to appeal to specific needs of raising investment, applying for a loan, working with partners, etc.