My ecommerce business for women's seasonal fashion accessories has a grossed a little more than $250K in sales so far this year. However, I have no business plan and I can see how its hurting my business. Business plan templates I've found have always seemed jargony and unnecessarily formal to me. How does one create a business plan that actually HELPS their business grow? Where do I start?
I have been in the domestic and global consulting and trade show business for the last 20+ years. I have worked with many companies that had to prepare business plans, reports, vision and goal focused presentations, and 50+ page corporate documents.
Overall, my first questions usually are "What do you need the BP for?" and "Do you need it for investors and/or banks?". It is important that my clients understand that there are different levels, corporate needs and goals, and presentation levels. Most of the businesses I am working with need to review, adjust, and redirect their business activities every 2-4 weeks. Knowing this speed of change, my recommendation is to start with a business presentation.
I have developed a PowerPoint document that my clients use for meetings or vision sessions with companies. This document keeps them focused (max 15 slides, in Arial 16) because they are "forced" to stay within the slides. We revisit the PP all the time, discussing the status and the direction, and then adjust the slides if necessary.
This format is helping my clients. Let me know if you would like to talk about this in more details in a call.