No matter what kind of business you run or want to start, having a business plan is of critical importance. After all, as Benjamin Franklin famously said, “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” That being said, some business plans are easier to write than others. Writing a business plan for your consulting business may not only be challenging, but you may not even see the need for one. The truth is, however, every business needs a plan, including your consulting business. Here are three tips for writing an effective business plan for your consulting company.
- Set concrete goals
Creating a business plan is similar to planning a trip. First, you have to choose a destination. You can’t know if you’re headed in the right direction if you don’t know where you are going in the first place. How will you know when you get there if you don’t start off with a specific destination in mind? Knowing where you want to get to is the first step in creating a good business plan.
- Decide what you need in order to accomplish your goals
Once you have decided on your destination, you have to figure out what you need to get there. If your goals involve cultivating a certain number of clients, you will need to determine how you are going to find those clients in the first place. This may involve marketing or it may involve cultivating certain contacts that can put you in touch with the types of clients you are looking for. If you need to meet with clients, you need to decide whether you need a private office, a coworking space or can simply meet with them in their own offices. Each of these decisions will become a part of your comprehensive plan.
- Create a plan for each of your needs
Think of your business plan like a set of blueprints. You will need one complete and comprehensive plan for yourself that includes everything from plumbing and wiring to where your load-bearing walls need to be. You can also create sub-plans that only address the needs of all of your individual subcontractors. If you need someone to help you with marketing, you will need a way to communicate exactly what it is you want to market and to whom. If you need funding, you will need a plan that will communicate how you plan to provide a solid ROI. If you don’t need partners, investors or funding, you still need a plan that will act as a blueprint to help guide you along the way. Whatever your goals are, you need a plan for achieving them. That is a business plan.