The Canadian Imperial Business Network

Categories: Featured, Training

Keep The Planning Of A Business Plan Simple

When we get started in business we often don’t have a plan, and unless you bought a franchise there was not likely a plan that was handed to you. We usually start our business as an accident, an afterthought, or reacting to what we thought was a good idea. “I am good at making cabinets, so I will start a cabinet making business.” “I like flowers, I will be a florist and start a business.” “I took an education in marketing, so I will start a marketing business.” Did you start your business like this?

Some people do research first. They try to make sure someone wants what they are offering. Research to them may be polling people they know, who may or may not know anything about whether the idea is viable. Research may have included the sales pitch from the guy who was selling you the business you bought, or it may have been the numbers they provided which were likely a little embellished. Others turn to the internet, which can be a good option if you are looking for the right things. However, the internet is the bathroom wall of the universe. People write good and bad stuff there. Some of it is true, lots of it is opinion. It is not necessarily good research.

creating a business planMost of us even if we did do legitimate research to determine it was a good risk, still don’t have a clue how to run a business. Just because we studied law does not mean we automatically know how to run a law firm. Even if we took a business course we could complete the training without the information that we need to be successful as a business owner. We are not born knowing how to do a SWOT Analysis or create a marketing plan that will work. Many of us are not even talented enough to keep our own books.

So There Was No Business Plan

If you started a business and there was no plan, get over it. Many of us had that problem. It is not too late to turn things around and right your ship. It is time to start thinking more strategically and make a plan. You don’t need to become one of the 80% that fails in the first five years. The choice is yours. You are in the water – it is time to start swimming. Treading water will only get you drowned. Take authority over your situation by making a decision to make a plan and move forward.

Do You Need A Business Plan?

Maybe, but not necessarily first. If you are looking for a business loan or a grant, then yes you need a business plan right away. If you are looking for an investor, or if you want to franchise, then yes. You need a business plan now. However, if you are the average guy trying to run your operation and struggling with cash flow, why not start with something simpler that will lead to a business plan and the growth that you want down the road.

Start With An Operations Manual

If something happened to you could someone else currently run your business for you? Would your staff know what to do? Would your spouse know what to do? Probably not. If you have an Operations Manual someone could do some of the things you do, or possibly even all of the things you do. Then you can use it to train people and scale your business as it grows. This is a good first step.

An operations Manual will help you planning for the future. Others can then follow what you have done. What is the process? How do you get new clients? Once you have a client what is the procedure? What are the simple day-to-day tasks that anyone could do, if they knew you were doing them? How do the books get done? Who does the banking? How is payroll handled? Who is making the gadgets? How are they made? Where are you ordering stock? How is it done? Who puts it on the shelf? Why is it displayed the way that you displayed it? Is there a reason? Write that down. Make sure that you write out why you do what you do. You had a vision at some point. What was your vision for your company? Put that on the paper.

Use a journal, or write it in a word document. Just start writing it out. Make headings so you can organize your thoughts later. Keep it simple. Just write out one heading and then in one half hour session write out in point form the things that need to be on that list. Leave it on your desk so if you think of other things to put on the list you can add them quickly before you forget. If you do this for a couple of weeks you will have a great Operations Manual starting to form. Now you are looking after your future!

There are lots of other steps that you can take. Here are a few that you can come back to later that will also help. You should write these down or post them somewhere so you remember them for when you need them:

  • Read E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber to help you get into an entrepreneurial mindset.
  • Join the MasterMind program and brainstorm with other MasterMinds regularly.
  • Sign up for Manifast (Offered free to MasterMinds). It is a wonderful program that helps you to organize your business and develop next steps for growth and strategy.
  • Set some goals. Make a 1 year, a 3 year, and a 5 year goal. Then what would that mean that you should have for goals in the next 90 days? That is goal setting. Write them down or they are not goals, they are only wishes.
  • Get a business coach and use them.
  • Hang around successful entrepreneurs who are where you want to be. There is nothing like having good mentors and friends that can speak into your life.


Running a business can be hard. Don’t be overwhelmed. Lots of people have been where you are and here at the CIBN many of them are available to help you with your business plan.

Contact Bruce McGregor with WBRC Solutions or use Al Dhalla at Manifast to produce a solid business plan.


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