I must admit, when I started Morris MC, ltd. I really never did a Business Plan. To tell the truth I never really thought it would ever grow to be more than just a way for me to own my own job. That’s really what my goal was.
However, as I am sure many of you know, life never works out the way you planned it to. My plan, was to own my own job, to have a few clients that could bring in as much money as I had been earning before, and give me the freedom to work the hours I wanted to work. Not less, just when I wanted. I mean really, here it is 9:26 pm on a cold and rainy thursday night, the heat is cranked up, I’ve eaten a quiet dinner of Hubbard squash and sugar cookies and now I am writing my blog. A few fellow entrepreneurs would say “shame on you for working late!”, but the fact is I took off early yesterday, when the sun was still shining and the weather was warm and dry and spent the whole evening at the barn playing with the horses. That is what I mean by my time. I don’t mind working, actually I love it, I’d be bored without it, but don’t make me sit in an office with nothing to do just because I am supposed to be there from 8:00-5:00. Don’t waste my time!
But I digress, so my plan was owning my own job. I phase out of my 5 year job to spread my wings, all is roses for the first month! Then my husband loses his job, so we go from a very healthy 2 income family, to a very surprised zero income family within 30 days! WOW, that bites. The plan was great with one full-time income coming in, the plan was not designed for nada.
So the business plan never got written, I mean it got started, but never finished. It was a sink or swim scenario, either I made it work or we were going to have some serious issues. And when you are working full-time as your own employee, your business manager, your sales staff, and so much more, you just run out of time to write a plan.
But even without a plan we were able to make it work, and in fact we worked well, we have seen steady growth even in this economy. Most importantly I wouldn’t trade this feeling and freedom for my previous life for anything!
But I have discovered something even more exciting, although I have managed to keep things going here very successfully, I have discovered that I am an entrepreneur, and I LOVE it! I thrive on it, I wake up in the morning itching to get going on my next adventure. And I have discovered, that to do something bigger than owning your own job requires a lot more work, planning, and research. It requires a business plan.
Now I always thought the business plan was a way for you to describe what you are planning on doing to others. It would give them the ability to read what you mean, study it at their leisure and then discuss it with you, or with others.
I was wrong, a business plan is a way for you to really figure out how your business is actually going to work. It forces you to look at it from every possible angle. It makes you take a hard, honest look a the numbers and see what will and what won’t work. It makes you look at the way the business is structured and what is needed to make it work the way you want it to. The business plan is really your own personal “devil’s advocate” in document form.
The act of writing the plan out forces you to think all the way through the process. It doesn’t allow you to say “well it will work something like that” you need to explain how it will work, and you need to understand it well enough that you can put it down in print. It has to be rational enough that other people will look at it and say, yes that makes sense, and it forces you to read it and say “yes, that makes sense” or “No, that doesn’t”.
Even if I never shared my business plan with a single soul, I would say it is a necessary activity to achieve my plan. In fact without it, I don’t think I would ever have gotten to my final plan.
If you business is all you have ever wanted, or if you are happy with where you are in life, or if all you want is to own your own job, than I don;t think I would push writing a business plan. However, if you want to achieve greatness, if you want to change the world, then a business plan is a great first step!
Do something grand!