One of the biggest advantages of being a solo-professional in the hyper-dynamic marketplace is the ability to quickly make decisions that adapt to changing conditions.
The value of your business plan is not its weight in paper, but rather in the clarity of the thinking at its core. Too many solo-professionals get stalled by their business plan, because they get caught up in details that are ever inconsequential to their desired result or overtaken by events in the real world.
To make good decisions in a rapidly changing environment, a clear strategy, based on simple principles, provides better guidance than a plan that is thick, detailed and difficult to adjust. By cutting out the fluff and focusing on six core questions, you can create a concise, dynamic template that will clarify the core of your success strategy for yourself and your collections.
The purpose of a clear, concise two-page business plan for solo-professionals, is to demonstrate that:
1. that your business project can make money,
2. that you can attract and serve clients who value what you have to offer and who can commit to you, and
3. that you are clear about what the resources you need and the actions to take.
When you can make your case using brief, precise statements, then you will be able to transform your passion into profit.
Set aside your old business plan brick and answer each of the following questions in a couple of sentences:
1. What is the key, compelling result you create for your client?
People do not buy your product or service, they invest in the results that your product or service provides for them. Describe your business in terms of the impact you make on your customer, how their life is changed for the better. Aim for the impact with the greatest value. Keep it simple, go for the WOW. In reading your statement, the response should be "this is something I gladly would spend my own energy, time and money for!"
Bonus points if you can state your compelling result in ONE sentence, 10 words or less.
2. How do you generate profit?
A successful business must have, at its core, a profit engine, where you input your products and services and the client inputs their investment of time, money and attention, and both of you benefit. What is your "value proposition"? A strong value proposition is a tight, focused mechanism that involves an offer, a customer, a consideration (money, time, effort commitment), to create the compelling result. How is this effect created? How do customers invest in it? Where do you generate your income, and your profit?
What is the reason why customers care that you exist? What is your long-term value proposition that will keep customers coming back again and again? Or will that create a permanent, powerful and positive change in the client's situation?
Is your value proposal scalable (ie can you quickly grow the number of customers without adding appreciably to costs)? Are …