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A business plan is your personal GPS for setting direction and guiding decision-making.

Until recently, you may have believed preparing a business plan is something only big companies need to work on. You couldn’t be more wrong. It’s even more important for the one-person business and experts agree all businesses should have one. Your odds of succeeding without a plan are slim to nil.

I’m not saying you can’t succeed without one. Certainly people have in the past and will continue to do so. I just think you increase your odds of success when you know where you’re going and why.

Currently, less than 6% of the population earns 6 figures and less than 1% earns over $350,000 per year. You can be one of them, if you plan appropriately, use specific strategies correctly, and follow the numbers that tell the real story about what’s going on with your business.

It’s important to your ultimate success that you clearly understand BUSINESS PLANS are not about:

  1. Ego and self-esteem (these are what are most likely to hold you back)
  2. People and relationships (these are the only way you can achieve success)
  3. Systems and technology (these are just a means to an end)
  4. Processes and standards (these are how you get things done and done right)
  5. Marketing campaigns (these only help you get the word out)
  6. Performance measures or goals (these only help you evaluate progress)

Having a business plan is the difference between:  action and results, sales and profitability and history and legacy. If you are not pro-actively planning your business, you are risking financial ruin. Who wants their hard work to be rewarded with failure? Not me. Not you. Not anybody. But it happens to literally thousands of people every day. And the worst part about it is, it is completely avoidable! You don’t have to prepare a massive proposal; we like to keep it simple — just one to two pages tops.

Here are some examples reflecting different styles and approaches to get you started.

Example 1: One Page Business Plan Modeln

Example 2: Lifehacker – $100 Startup Resources

Example 3: Quite Splendid – 1-Page Plan Template