“And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.” – Meister Eckhart
If you’ve started a business, or have been trying to work up the courage to start one, this one is for you.
It’s about magical new beginnings. Yours and mine.
Recently, I’ve been invited to partner with the Mercy Corps Northwest Women’s Business Center both for curriculum development and as a teacher for their Write Your Business Plan class.
I’m thrilled, because I’m super passionate about the transformative power of education, especially for women and girls. Plus, it’s a beautiful complement to my own soon-to-launch eCourse, She Gets Business.
Mercy Corps Northwest serves women, with a focus on low-income and minority outreach in the Portland community. Over the course of four weeks, class participants take their business plan from a blank page to completion with the help of an instructor (me!) and a small group of peer entrepreneurs.
She Gets Business also serves women and features a five-week online curriculum and year-round private global community. In this class, women also build their business plan, with my coaching and feedback, and have a community of women on the same learning journey to support them and give them valuable feedback. It’s perfect for women in their first year of business-building, whether they’ve started their business and need to fill knowledge and skill gaps or need a nudge to start but need some structure and confidence.
And now let’s talk about you.
“But Wendy,” I hear you asking, “do I really need a business plan?”
Yes, my friend, you really do.
If you want to create and sustain a profitable business, I absolutely believe you start here.
Recently I read someone’s blog where she wrote that there is no need to have a business plan, because “it’s just a guesstimate, anyway.” She goes on to say that common reasons many small business owners get stuck are:
- They have no clear picture of the target customer
- They are not communicating clearly what your solution is
- Their pricing is too low
- Their branding doesn’t appeal the target audience
- They don’t have clear goals or milestones
- They are not tracking or measuring results
Hmmm. Customer definition? Unique value proposition? Pricing? Brand? Goals, milestones, and tracking? Guess what that’s called? (Hint: a business plan.)
Think of it as a magical new beginning.
A business plan is a simple and proven framework that helps your ideas take root. It’s a snapshot of where you are right now, where you plan to go, and what you need to do to get there. Far from being busy work, your business plan is a clear, simple step-by-step plan where you map out the heart of your business and the path to making money.
There are oodles of formats you can use to make a business plan, from long and complex, to my favorite – short, sweet, and simple. And that’s what I teach. And it works.
So what are the fundamental things you need to map our for your biz? Here are seven things you need to know.
- What are you actually selling?
- Who is your target customer?
- What problem does your product or service solve for your customer?
- How will you make money?
- How will your customers find you?
- Why should your customer buy your product, and not someone else’s product?
- What are your goals and targets?
These are classic components of a business plan, and they serve as the foundation for everything you do next. And remember that list of common reasons why many small business owners get stuck? Your business plan actually addresses every single one.
Are you ready to make some magic?
We’re (almost) ready to invite the first class of She Gets Business participants. I am so proud of the solid curriculum, the friendly, easy-to-use virtual classroom, and the community of women already committed to participating!
To you and your rock star business (even if it hasn’t been born yet),
Got something to add? Hit reply, or tell me about it, below.
A little bit about me:
I’m a small business strategist, mentor, and entrepreneur with a great love for education, technology, and empowering women and girls.
After earning my MBA at the top-ranked program for international business in the U.S., I spent 12+ years in sales and marketing roles for highly respected technology companies such as Adobe, Apple, and Google, on both a regional and global scale. (Fancyyyyy.)
My true love, however, is teaching women how they can apply these best practices to their own small business, take their business to the next level, and flourish. That’s my happy place!
These days, I’m 100% focused on mentoring women entrepreneurs. I recently launched She Gets Business™, a global community and online education platform for women who are in the concept or startup stages of building a business. I also develop curriculum for and teach at the Mercy Corps Northwest Women’s Business Center in Portland, Oregon. MCNW focuses on women and minorities, and I love teaching my students about business-building fundamentals. And I’m delighted to be teaching business at Portland State University!