Episode 10: 7 Questions To Build Your Entrepreneur Business Plan

entrepreneurship May 27, 2020

Business plans can be daunting. They explain your business and set you up for success, but an entrepreneur’s business plan doesn’t need to be as involved as one for a Fortune 500 company.

In building our businesses, we never had involved business plans or investors. But we did think through the basics before we jumped in.

Here are seven questions to ask yourself to build your entrepreneurs simple business plan: 

1. What are you going to sell?

To be a successful entrepreneur, you’ve got to make money. Too often we hear about people who are tired of their jobs, so they quit to go off on their own without a real plan in place. Think of the product or service you can sell. In Blake’s case, it came from looking at her talents and what people were already asking her to do. She was constantly asked to create content and speak on customer experience and turned it into a product and service she could sell as an entrepreneur.

2. Where is your revenue going to come from?

Think of multiple ways you can make money, either from selling numerous products or diversifying your services. Think bigger than just one idea and look at trends and potential to expand. For us, revenue comes from speaking, writing and creating courses. Aim for three to five potential revenue sources.

3. How much will you spend to bring your product to market?

Everything has a cost, even if you’re starting a largely online business. Know how much it will cost to bring your product or service to market. Know where your money is going and the overhead. You won’t be successful if you spend more than you make. When you keep your costs low, your revenue grows much faster.

4. How many months can you go without making money?

At the beginning of your entrepreneurship journey, you probably won’t be making much (if any) money. It takes time to get customers and build relationships, and in many cases, you’ll be offering your services for free. Look at your finances to consider how much risk you can take on and how long you can live without money coming in. Jacob started his side hustle while he was still working full time. Once he had enough money to sustain himself for at least seven months, he jumped all in as an entrepreneur.

5. What do you realistically think you can make to sustain?

Once you do start making money, you need to know how much to shoot for. Track your business and personal expenses so you know how much you need to make every month. Know how much money you need to survive and save and be realistic if your new venture can sustain that.

6. Who is going to buy from you?

Know your buyer. Have an idea of who would want to buy your product or service before you start to sell to them. Find a need in the market and work to meet that need.

7. How are you going to get customers?

It’s one thing to know who your customer will be—it’s another to actually get them. In some cases, getting customers means paying for advertising. In other cases, it means building your personal brand and credibility. Have a plan in place of how you’ll acquire customers and keep them around.

Going into business for yourself is scary and comes with a lot of risk. But there are also huge benefits. Before you jump in all the way, answer these questions to create your basic business plan. Being prepared will put you that much farther down the path to success.

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