This is guest blog post by Michelle Loretta who loves to talk shop and discuss business strategy. So, in 2009 she started a blog: Sage Wedding Pros. This blog would evolve to cover all things business in the wedding and event industry. She has a background in finance, having armed herself with a BS in Accounting from University of Southern California and having spent her early career working for Deloitte LLP. She spent 5 years in the fashion industry as a sales manager for DDLA, and a visual merchandiser for Coach, Inc. In 2008, Michelle co-founded the wedding industry not-for-profit Get Hitched Give Hope.
Oh … the agony! Writing a business plan! It takes blood, sweat, tears… weeks turn into months turn into years. What a grueling process!
OR – that’s what people think.
Listen, I teach people how to write business plans daily. It doesn’t have to be this way. Let’s get some things straight here …
A Business Plan Is A Set Of Goals
Yep – that’s all it is. And, goal-setting challenges us to be better business owners. Goal-setting gives us a target to aim for. If you don’t have a target, how can you ever hit the bulls-eye?
Cover All Your Bases
The beauty of the business plan is that it forces you to look at four areas of your business: your company vision, your marketing, your operations, and your finances. So often we set goals with only a couple of these in mind. But a strong business needs to build on all four areas.
– What do you want your business to be known for?
– How are you going to sell that?
– How are you going to run your business to provide that?
– How are you going to make money doing it?
Make It Your Own
Unless you are seeking investors or financing, the business plan should be for you. If it’s 3 pages or 30 pages – just get some thing down on paper. It can be paragraphs or lists. Make it your own. And make it easy for you to write. Better yet: make it easy for you to USE.
Find a Buddy
Things are always more fun with friends. Find a coach, a friend, or a mentor to help you with this. Whether you meet monthly with an industry colleague to work ON your business plans – or whether you attend a workshop. This accountability makes it easier to get it done if you can have a little social interaction along the way.
What good is a plan if you don’t use it? (This is the real importance of making it your OWN.) Goals change and evolve over time. This plan isn’t set in stone. Refer to it daily. Make it a part of your business life. And, make the business plan a continuously evolving, living, breathing document.
About The Simple Plan
The Simple Plan is a no-sweat, no-fuss, piece-of-cake, easy-peasy approach to writing a business plan. We’ve taken out the dirty work and made this fun and collaborative. It is open to all wedding industry professionals: from start-ups just getting their feet wet to experienced pros who are looking to take their business to the next level.
Read all about The Simple Plan for event and wedding professionals
New York Workshop:
The Simple Plan – May 10-11, 2011 – 9:30am-4:30pm
At Jason Groupp Studio
Register now for the New York workshop!
The Simple Plan – March 22-23, 2011 – 9:30am-4:30pm
At Holiday Inn Express – Galleria
Register now for the Dallas workshop!
UPDATE: Michelle Loretta is offering Tiffinbox newsletter subscribers $50 off towards the NYC workshop. 1) Sign up for the Tiffinbox newsletter, 2) Send me an email to seshu at tiffinbox dot org so that I can confirm your email matches and 3) I’ll email you back with the special code. Deal?