The purpose of the architect is to produce a design that has considered the weight, the pressure, the strength, the environment, and other usage factors that would lead to a successful structure. If you plan it right with a pencil, you can build it right with steel. Pencils are easier to correct than welding!
T. D. JakesI was reading TD Jakes book Soar and really like the way he has defined a business plan. He calls it a Flight plan – fitting for the subject of the book and one I can recommend.Even as artists, we have to think of the practicality of our craft. It is not all design, write and craft. It involves planning at a certain stage. This will help to clear the clutter and give you a good footing to stand on. Confidence is in knowing what to do, what plans to make, questions to ask, etc.Let me know if you find it helpful.
What questions to ask in a business plan?
- What are you selling?
- What problem are you solving?
- What’s your mission and motivation?
- What makes your business unique?
- What’s your destination?
- What will success look like for your business?
- Who needs what you want to offer?
- Who’s your ideal customer?
- Who else could use your product or service?
- Who will be on your support team?
- Who are the other professionals you need to consult or hire for their expertise? Lawyers? Accountants? Consultants? Others?
- Who might want to invest in your business?
- Why do people need your product or service?
- Why should they buy it from you instead of from one of your competitors?
- Why will they return to your business and refer others to you?
- Why will you succeed where other, similar businesses have failed?
- How will you operate?
- How will you handle production, distribution, delivery, etc.?
- How much money do you need to get started?
- How will you raise this capital?
- How will you market and promote your business?
- How will you manage cash flow?
Many businesses have seasonal cycles, times that are more profitable, and times when operating and production costs are higher or lower. Identifying these cycles ahead of time will save you countless headaches, not to mention all kinds of sleepless nights! And perhaps more importantly, how will your business be able to compete in this market and who are the major players you’re up against? Who’s the Goliath you’re up against? What are the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors? Why is your business going to compete with these opponents? While it’s tempting to think your product, service, or business is the first of its kind, most for-profit entities have some competition—if not from a similar product or service, then from something or someone pulling potential customers’ attention and assets away from you.
- Where is your airspace, the ideal atmosphere where your business will succeed?
- Where will your business be located physically?
- Where will potential customers learn about what you’re offering?
- Where do you want your business to be three years from now?
- When will you start your business?
- What specific season and date make sense?
- When will you know your venture is a success?
- When you serve a certain number of customers? Make a certain percentage margin of profit? Reach sales of a certain number or range?
- When will you need to rescale your business? Hire more employees? Move to a larger location?
- When will you consider selling your business?
If you choose one of these more creative expressions for your business plan, here are the major categories you should address:
- an overview of your mission (often called an executive summary);
- a description of atmospheric conditions in the airspace where you hope to fly, the state of business currently in your chosen sector; market analysis and competitive strategies;
- operational logistics;
- and your destination, the way you will know you’ve met certain goals or metrics.
Jakes, T. D. Soar! Build Your Vision from the Ground Up
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