Successful Business Handbook

Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 21 of 184

career path: sole proprietor create your business plan By Daryl Kulak Ah, the business plan. The bank wants to see it before they lend you money. Potential partners want to look at it to see the direction of your business. And, most of all, you need it to give you a sense of where you are headed with the business, what your goals are, and what the means are to get you there. But what is a business plan? The Small Business Administration ( says, "A business plan precisely defines your business, identifies your goals, and serves as your firm's resume." Is a business plan just a bunch of numbers? Here is where a lot of people go wrong. A business plan is much more than finances. The finances must follow the "direction." And the direction cannot be stated in terms of dollars and cents. For this reason, I tend to use the phrase "dreaming forward" when describing the business planning process. That's what it's really about for me. Dreaming about possible futures, what you really want in your life, the results, the journey, and the people you want surrounding you. Then, the power of intention can take over and help you achieve what you have created in your mind. Who Needs A Business Plan? Whether your bodywork business is nothing more than a twinkle in your eye, or it's been operating for 20 years, you need a business plan. Here are some reasons why: • Efficient use of your time. Unless all your "effort arrows" are pointed in the same direction, you'll be putting out a lot of energy and getting nothing back. • Clear marketing. Knowing whom you are serving and the problems you're solving are critical to your marketing efforts. • ank loan. If you ever need to get B a loan for the business from a bank, or even a family member or friend, you'll be in a much better position if you have a comprehensive, professional business plan. • nvestor. If you want to take I on investors in your business, including partners or silent partners, you will need a business plan to seal the deal. • Training decision. You'll refer back to your business plan each time you have an opportunity to participate in professional training. If the training class will further your plan, take it. If not, skip it. First, Get Personal Before you can decide on the goals for your business, you should create a set of personal goals. Your business is just a tool to help you achieve what you want in your personal life (i.e., comfortable retirement, making a difference in the world, a house in the suburbs, college tuition for the kids, fulfilling a desire to teach, etc.). List your personal goals under categories such as family, relationships, spirituality, finances, education, and health. Write down as many as you can. You don't have to prioritize them; the important thing is to just get them on paper. Personal goals can be tangible (lose 20 pounds) or intangible (be a devout Buddhist). Try to think of at least five goals in each category, but don't limit yourself. You need to create the list of personal goals so you can compare them to your business goals and make sure you are not creating contradictions between your personal life and business life. Business Direction— Mission, Vision, Values There is no more important section in your business plan than your mission, vision, and values, which make up the direction your business will take. The mission you decide on is what your business was born to accomplish—the people it helps and the problems it solves. Vision is how the world will be different once your business has accomplished its mission. And values are the guideposts your business must obey on the way to accomplishing its mission. In deciding on your mission, create a mission statement. Good ones are clear and specific in

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of Successful Business Handbook - Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals