It is that time of year again, business planning time! I personally love this time of year as it feels like a fresh start and the beginning of a new chapter. But I also know from past experiences it can also be slightly daunting. However, I am here to put your mind at rest and show you an easy way to plan for your cake business future!
Business planning is vital for your business to grow at a rate that is manageable and enjoyable. Business should be fun after all. A business plan is essentially a road map giving you directions on where to go. I strongly believe without doing this simple task you are asking for trouble!
I have learnt this from experience, In short, I started my cake business with plan, I followed that plan, started to achieve what I wanted and some success. Then I got waylaid, never looked at the plan and things went wrong, the business started to fail, I lost focus, didn’t have a clear route. I took steps to reinstated the business planning process and have never looked back!
**This blog has been updated from Planning 2017 8 Simple Steps.
8 Easy Steps for a Buzzing Business Plan!
I am one for keeping things easy so I have developed a process that achieves maximum results but is simple to complete at the same time. Gone are the days of the book like plans*. Hooray!!! (*Though you may need one of those if you want to secure finance from external investors)
Anyway to get started on your super easy business plan all you need is half a day, a pen/paper/computer/ipad/phone and you’re good to go.
Step 1 of Business Plan: Review and Declutter – Time: 30 mins
- Write down all your success and achievements then briefly look at things that didn’t work out for you in the year (don’t send too long on the negative aspects, accept it/they happened and move on.)
Step 2 of Business Plan: Brainstorm – Time: 30 mins – 45 mins
- Write a list of all the words you want to associate with your life and business for this year.
- Tip: You can put these in a word cloud if you want, print and keep it somewhere where you will look at it often.
- Choose three of these words to become your words of the year – make a note of these.
Step 3 of Business Plan: Dream – Time: 45mins – 1 hour
- Dream the impossible, dream the life you want if money wasn’t an object, if time wasn’t an object, if there were no objects!
- Write down your ultimate dream, this can be 5, 10, 20 years or more into the future. This is personal to you, your life and your business. This is your long term vision.
- Then bring it closer to home and look ahead to the next 3 years, what do you want to achieve (this is your short term mission).
- Then come back to earth and look at want you want to achieve this year that will help you meet your three year mission and your ultimate vision. The year ahead is a time to be slightly more realistic here but I do advising pushing yourself as well. So, if it is a monetary goal, add another 25% onto it. Scary, I know, but it will get you thinking differently.
Now it’s time to put an actionable plan into place. I plan in quarters, I believe in doing things in bite size chunks, and have learnt over the years things do change!
Step 4 of Business Plan: Plan your first quarter (January to March) – Time: 30 mins – 45 mins
- I recommend choosing one goal per month and creating a reward for each goal that you set that you can treat yourself with when you complete it.
- Break the goal into tasks and jot this task list down.
- And always ask yourself who am I targeting with these goals and what are the benefits for my customers when I complete these goals/tasks.
As we only look at a quarter at a time, I jot any future goals/ideas that pop into my head at the back of the plan. These goals can be implemented as and when the quarterly goals get ticked off.
Step 5 of Business Plan: Future goals – Time: 15 mins
- Jot these down at the back of the plan.
- Add them to the main body of the plan once other goals have been completed.
Your plan has to make financial sense as well so it is important to create a simple sales forecast as if didn’t meet your expectations you may have to review this.
Step 6 of Business Plan: Look at your numbers – Time: 30 – 45 mins
- Write down all the products you sell and the average sales price.
- Write down how many of each product you would like to or estimate you will sell this year.
- Calculate the numbers above. This will be your estimated turnover.
- Now write down all your business expenses, including your wages/drawings as well as the direct costs for creating the cakes.
- Take this number away from your turnover. Is this a positive or a negative number? Are you making a profit or a loss? If it is a the latter, you will need to rethink your pricing, or how many cakes you need to sell, or look at your expenses.
I always find it is key to block out space for holidays and time off at the beginning of the year. As a self employed person we often overlook this and end up taking no time off at all! Think about how much annual leave you want, 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 8 weeks or more. It is your business so block out the time now.
Step 7 of Business Plan: Balance – Book in your holidays/family time – Time: 30 mins
- Add blocks of time off to your calendar and be strict about it!
Finally commit to yourself and your partner or a friend/loved one/mentor that you are going to stick to this business plan.
Step 8 of Business Plan: Commitment – Time: 10 mins
- Make a declaration out loud that you are going to commit to using this business plan. You will stay focus and tackle one goal and their tasks at a time. Should you get ideas for future goals you will add these to the business plan and only action but your main goals have been completed.
Good luck and if you would like any help with your business planning or cake business mentoring then please do contact me to see how I could help you.
Purchase Comprehensive Easy Business Course go a little deeper and learn how to create a super duper business plan that will help set you up for a super successful 2018.
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