A Remarkably Simple Business Plan

image of corkboard with brainstorming ideas

I don’t know about you, but when I started trying to figure out how to work for myself, the idea of a “business plan” sort of made me gag.

The traditional books for small business (the best one, IMO, is Small Time Operator), painted a picture that wasn’t really relevant to me, with things like lines of credit and office space and a business license.

Those weren’t the problems I needed to figure out. My problems were more like, “How am I going to find people who want my services? How do I convince them I’m good at what I do? And what the heck should I be selling, anyway?”

Last year, I put together something I called the Remarkably Simple Business Plan, which answered those questions for me in the early days, and for my consulting clients as I moved forward. I’d like to go ahead and share it with you today.

In the spirit of the whole “Remarkably Simple” thing, just cut and paste what’s below into the word processor of your choice and get rolling. Replace the “blah blah blah” sections with your own answers.

I don’t care if you use Google Docs or notepad or send an email to yourself. You can copy it out longhand in copperplate handwriting if that turns you on.

The main thing is, get some answers down today.

I promise, if you do, you’ll be amazed at what this can do to get you moving toward your business goals.

Who’s the right customer?

Answer this question in as much detail as you can. You may want to read this article for some pointers first.

Relationship Marketing: Connect with One Person

Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah.

How will these customers find us?

Customer will find us by Blah blah blah and Blah blah blah. Alternately, I will go find them by Blah blah blah.

What will the project look like when it’s done?

By “project,” I mean the service, the membership site, the consulting package, the ebook. What form does the thing take that you give your customer?

Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah.

What problem does this product/project solve for the customer? Is it a real problem? Does anyone care about getting this problem solved?

Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah.

What tools or materials we will need to get this built?

Will you use blog software? An awesome WordPress theme? Other technology tools? Do you need a copywriter, graphic designer, wordpress developer?

If it’s an information product, do you need to do additional research on the topic? Could you interview some experts for additional material?

Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah.

Is there any way to create a really fast prototype?

How could you do a “good enough” beta version to test that this is actually a marketable concept?

Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah.

What partners will we involve in this project? Why?

Marketing partners? Content creation partners? Business partners?

Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah.

How will we share revenue between partners

This can be different for different monetization items. Advertising could be split differently than fees for services, for example.

Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah.

How can I get moral support outside of the partnership?

Starting a business is hard. It’s easy to give up. Can you join a really great entrepreneur’s group? Work with a coach? Put together a small mastermind or accountability group?

Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah.

Some things this product will need to do

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How we make money

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What other stuff could we sell these customers later?

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Expenses

If there are partners, who pays these expenses in the launch process before we have revenue coming in? Are these one-time or recurring?

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Execution

Who will do the work? Who’s going to manage the project and make sure the tasks get done? How long will it take?

Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah.

How will we know it’s working?

If the project is a magnificent success, what will that look like? (Answer this one in as much detail as you can.)

Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah.

What do we need to worry about? What’s going to bite us in the ass if we don’t address it now? What do we need to worry about down the line?

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Next actions

What do you need to do next to get yourself moving forward?

  1. Blah blah blah.
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Get these on your calendar today and start moving.

Having trouble putting it all together? Feeling a little overwhelmed,
or like maybe you’ll never be able to make it happen?

That’s a sure sign you’re on the right track. :)

Or at least, it’s a sign that you’re exactly like the rest of us. A certain amount of overwhelm just goes with the territory. The good news is, you truly can manage that. Here’s my favorite method for creating and keeping your momentum:

The 3 Secrets to Massive Online Marketing Success

Sonia Simone

P.S.

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