A New Kind of Business Plan

Clint Walkingstick’s

A New Kind of Business Plan

I’ve heard it said that being an entrepreneur is like jumping off a cliff and then starting to build a 747, hoping to have it complete and pull up before you suddenly stop at the bottom of the mountain. But, being an entrepreneur can work. In the meantime, use this tool before you jump.

A business plan can help you avoid that sudden stop. But, a business plan is less about wooing potential investors and more about asking the hard questions in a clear way. Doing so brings the goals of your business into sharp focus.

The real value of a business plan is to help you (the guy with the idea) to think though the business. It’s gonna be your job to write down your plan in order to move your idea from a daydream to reality.

Hone in on what it will take to produce and sell your product or service. Answering these questions gives you a much better shot at making your idea happen.

If at the end of answering them you decide your idea isn’t worthy of pursuing, you will have saved yourself countless hours of work, thousands of dollars of your money, and years of stress.

It might be best to type out your answers so you can easily share this document and so you can reference it later. Let’s get started.

Product Plan:

What am I making?
How am I going to make it?
Why am I making it?
Who cares about it?
Who does it help?
What benefit or benefits do they receive by buying and using it?
Is someone else making it?
How are they making it?
What specifically are they doing to make it?
How is what I’m making different/better?
How long does it take to make it?
On what calendar date will I start making it?
On what calendar date will it be ready to sell?
What will happen if no one I love cares?
What will happen if customers don’t want it?
What will happen if everything goes right?
What will happen if everyone wants it?
How can I mass produce what I make?
How much money does it cost to make?
What will happen if I lose every dime of the money it costs to make it?
How much money do I need to get started?
Where will I get the money to get started?
How will I receive payment for it?
Where will I keep the money I earn from it?
What will I do with the money I earn from it?
What kind of help do I need to make it?
Who can best help me make it?
How much money will it take for them to help me make it?

 

Service Plan:

What service  am I providing?
How am I going to provide it?
Why am I providing it?
Who cares about it?
Who does it help?
What benefit or benefits do they receive by buying and using it?
Is someone else providing it?
How are they providing it?
What specifically are they doing?
How is what I’m providing different/better?
How long does it take to provide it?
On what calendar date will I start providing it?
On what calendar date will it be ready to sell?
What will happen if no one I love cares?
What will happen if customers don’t want it?
What will happen if everything goes right?
What will happen if everyone wants it?
How can I mass produce what I provide?
How much money does it cost to provide?
What will happen if I lose every dime of the money it costs to provide it?
How much money do I need to get started?
Where will I get the money to get started?
How will I receive payment for it?
Where will I keep the money I earn from it?
What will I do with the money I earn from it?
What kind of help do I need to provide it?
Who can best help me provide it?
How much money will it take for them to help me provide it?
If your idea involved both a product and service, fill out both lists of questions.

 

Whew! That was a bunch of questions and answers!

These are the first of many if you plan to turn your idea into a product or service. But please, if you have the desire, all that stands in your way is the work. Everything good we have today is because someone had an idea and did the work to make it a reality. Here’s an example of my idea.