If you feel the need to be writing a business plan, then there is a new game in town.
Called the Business Plan Canvas, invented by Swiss Alex Osterwalder who built Strategyzer, a company who
"offer practical tools to better help you understand customers, design better value propositions and find the right business model."
His twitter account states he is a man who won't rest until
So, what's it all about then Alfie?
Rather than having a heart attack over summaries, detailed forecasting and projections, essentially you take a piece of paper and divide it into 9 boxes and you put in broad brush ideas about what you are doing, where you want to go and how you want to get there.
It is designed to be be written up in less than 30 minutes.
As your business takes off and especially if you need funding you can move to a more traditional and formal way of writing a business plan if you need one.
This one is designed with simplicity in mind and to me is seems a bit like when people write out their ideas on a beer mat.
You get the clear facts down without any other unnecessary stuff clouding your judgement.
The reason I think this model is useful is because you are not stuck in paralysis by analysis mode.
You can jot down your thoughts and have a laser focused view of your business on one piece of paper stuck to the wall or in a folder.
Easy to refer to at all times and you can adjust as you go.
Add a bit here, take a bit away from there, this model is flexible.
If there are other people in your business, it makes for a very clear vision of what the plan is.
Let me explain each section...
Who can help you move your business forward?
Even as a one man band there will most likely be others you need to reach out to, such as your web designer or business banking consultant perhaps?
What are you going to do in your business to go forward?
Build a website, get funding, employ staff, design a collection?
It goes in here.
Building on key activities who and what do you need to move your business forward?
Do you need people, money, places, or things?
How are you going to interact with your customers, via email, direct sales, in person, social media?
This section helps you focus on how you are going build a relationship with your customer.
What are you going to sell to them? Product or service or a combination?
And why do they buy or use your product or service and not someone else's?
How are you products sold? How are they delivered to your customer?
How do you promote your business?
If you are already up and running are your channels working or can you use another one more effectively?
In this section you are pinning down who your customers are.
You can profile them a bit and hone in on who they are, how they think and feel. What age group or sector of society are they, male or female.
Some people called this creating your avatar or your ideal customer.
All users and paying customers fall into this segment.
What are your costs? Lay them out here.
How are you going to make money from your products and services?
The formula is explained in detail in the video below.
It might seem simple but it is a very focused way of writing a business plan and I hope you find it useful information.
You have no excuse now not to start that business.!
Get writing a business plan now.