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Friday, June 19, 2009

Simple Business Plan Basics - 3 Expert Tips That Can Save You Thousands

Are you looking for a simple business plan for your fledgling start up? If you find yourself overwhelmed, confused and just plain frustrated by all of the conflicting information, and so called "expert" advice on writing a plan for your business - relax! You've come to the right place for really simple, but effective tips that can potentially save you thousands of dollars. 
Can a Simple Business Plan Really Save You Thousands? 

Let's consider the main purpose for writing a plan for your business. In modern times, the primary reason budding entrepreneurs waste so much money on expensive software, courses or hiring professional business plan writers, is to win the favor of potential investors. In short, you want your business plan to so impress the banks, that they're falling over themselves to stamp "approved" on your loan application. 
Let's face it -- we've all been told that traditional bank financing was the only way to fund a successful small business. I'm here to tell you that this just isn't true! You can find the funding you need for your start up without BIG bank loans. 
My Personal Story 
About 5 years ago, my husband and I owned a very successful small business - or so we thought! We were perpetually "up to our eyeballs" in debt. As our business was seasonal, we had to constantly borrow against our receivables to manage cash flow. At the time, we believed this to be just normal operating procedures for small businesses - nothing out of the ordinary. Unfortunately, we were right. It is a standard of practice to operate a business on a mound of debt; unless you know an easier and more profitable way - like Bootstrapping! 
Five years later, we own several small businesses that we've started up without bank loan financing. It all started with a simple business plan for starting up on a shoestring. I can not stress to you enough the value of not having to mail out a huge bank loan check every month. These repayments kill your bottom line and make it that much harder to turn a profit and succeed. 
As a result of my experiences, I set about the task of helping other small business owners learn how to start a business without bank loan financing.  
Check Out My Top 3 Tips for Shoestring Start Up 
Tip #1: DO NOT Create a Traditional Small Business Plan! 
Create a bootstrapped plan. Don't borrow! You owe it to yourself to, at the very least, investigate free sources of start up funding. I can tell you that there are literally hundreds of free resources that can help you reduce (and even eliminate) some of your start up costs. 
Tip #2: DO NOT Pay Out a Dime to Professional Business Plan Writers! 
Please believe me - I have nothing at all against getting the help of a professional consultant, when necessary. However, if you're up for the task of creating a bootstrapped plan for your business, you really shouldn't waste a few hundred dollars. Hiring business plan writers only makes sense if you plan to apply for commercial bank loans. 
Tip #3: DO Cut Down on Your Start Up Expenses by Utilizing Free Resources 
Let me make it clear that every small business needs a business plan. You wouldn't plan a long car trip without a roadmap, so why would you risk so much by starting a business without a plan? Now that we've established that, let me be clear. You do not need a fancy, laminated and saddle stitched written plan for a shoestring start up. Get yourself a three ring binder and a pack of tabbed dividers from your local dollar store. Next, do a quick online search for a simple business plan template.


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