5Your Business Plan

In this chapter you will

  • Develop your business plan
  • Determine how you will use your business plan

Are Business Plans Really Necessary?

Business plans are critical. Without them, you may end up in a place you didn’t intend to be. I know, because it happened to me. When I started, I fully intended to be a solopreneur, working without additional staff. I didn’t think I needed a business plan for that. Besides, there was too much to do! I began marketing with gusto and soon had too much work to finish myself, so I hired another consultant. Of course, I realized that I would need to go after larger contracts to pay both our salaries, but the added marketing intensity led to more work than the two of us could handle, so we invested more of our time in marketing, and, yes, you guessed it, we had too much work to meet our clients’ needs, and so . . . yes, I hired another consultant, which required more support staff. I accidentally built a company. Good or bad? Neither. It just wasn’t what I had planned. I would not have been in that predicament if I’d had a well-thought-out business plan.

A business plan is a document that describes your consulting business and where you want it to go in the future. Many new consultants are impatient to get started with the real work of consulting, so planning at this time may seem to be a waste of time when there is so much else to do. Planning may seem less critical than earning money when there is no income yet. Planning ...

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