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Jumpstart your business plan by downloading our free business plan template in Word format.
The point of doing this is to make sure the plan gets used, not stuffed in some drawer," says Rohr.
"So the best place to focus is on the activities in the process that move you to action." asked Rohr to guide us through the key elements that should be in your business plan outline and why: How to Write a Business Plan Outline: Your Mission"One of my colleagues has a standing bet that if anyone can recite their company's mission statement by heart, he'll give them the $100 he keeps in his wallet," says Rohr.
That's why it's important to set up an organization chart to define who you plan to have do the tasks you need in your business—even if they're subcontractors.
"Filling out an org chart let's you see where you can reach out for help," says Rohr.
"And it gives investors and bankers confidence that your plan isn't just to work 23 hours a day to pull off your vision." How to Write a Business Plan Outline: The Top Projects List This is the section where you need to list five projects that will help your new business start moving in the direction of fulfilling its mission and goals, says Rohr.
"The difference between a to-do item and a project is that a project has many to-dos associated with it," she says. Writing an operations manual for how someone can answer the phone at your business is a project.
"The key is to focus on how much you want and where you want to be." How to Write a Business Plan Outline: The Marketing Calendar/Plan The point of marketing is to get someone to reach in your direction as opposed to sales, which is when someone buys something to help them solve a problem, says Rohr.
"That means at this point, you need to make a list of the things that you can do to make people reach out to you that also fit within your budget," she says.
When the topic of business plans comes up, it tends to polarize people into two separate camps: those that think business plans are worth the effort to put together and those that think that unless you're trying to raise money, writing a business plan is a waste of time.
For Ellen Rohr, a business consultant and founder of Bare Bones Biz, the answer lies somewhere in between.