Benjamin Franklin is quoted to saying, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
This is relevant for your personal or professional life!
If you want to have a sustainably successful business, that isn’t just a short term hobby, but an endeavor that legitimately makes an impact & income, you have to establish a plan to get from where you’re at to where you actually want to be.
In this blog post, you’ll find a list of valuable questions you should work through to help you create your official business plan, especially if you are selling products!
This blog post & the questions listed below are inspired by a social media post from Jordan Lee Dooley!
Question One: What’s the purpose of your business?
– Why are you setting out to sell your products?
As Simon Sinek has inspirationally said, “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
Where does your passion come from for these products? Why are you determined to get them into somebody else’s hands? Your purpose is usually marketed through your tagline/mission statement!
Question Two: What are you selling?
– First, determine what physical products you’ll actually be selling. Then get more intentional and figure out what result(s)/transformation & emotional experience you are selling to your people too! Honestly, people are buying from you because they can see what value they get out of the exchange. Get on your people’s level because they are going to buy off of emotion/story!
Question Three: Who are you selling to?
– Who are your people? Who do you dream of buying your products? Who do you want to wear the scarves you make? Who do you want to eat your baked goods? Who do you want to wear your T-Shirts? What is their gender? How old are they? What’s going on in their life? What colors do they like? What kind of food do they like to eat? You have to know who you want to sell to!
Question Four: What problem are you solving?
– Like mentioned under question two, people are going to buy the result(s)/transformation and emotional experience they get from buying/having/using your product. What is your product doing for someone? What is it making them feel? How is it making their life better? Why would they want to have it? Why should they get it from you?
Question Five: How will you finance your startup costs?
– You’re going to need supplies to make the inventory to get started selling your products. Do you personally have the money to do it on your own? How will you make your money back quickly? If you don’t have the necessary finances, where will you get the money from? Who will you borrow from or where will you get a loan from? What is the plan for paying that amount of money back? We sometimes have to spend money to make money!
Question Six: Who are your competitors?
– Who else is making scarves? Who else is selling baked goods? Who else is making T-shirts? Get to know who your industry competition is, list the businesses out and then determine how you are going to have your scarves, baked goods or T-shirts stand out from the other options available. What are you going to do to convince the pool of people who want/like scarves, baked goods or T-shirts that they should come and buy the product(s) from you and not them?
Question Seven: What is your exit strategy?
– From the basic understanding I have on this topic, an exit strategy is your plan for how you would sell the ownership of your business & it’s products to another company or investor(s) if you still wanted the products available in the marketplace but you no longer want the responsibility it requires to sell/maintain the business.
Do you think it is important to have a business plan from the beginning? Why or why not?
What has helped you with creating your business plans before?