To learn why a business plan will always save your a$$, let’s first go on a holiday! Read on…
It’s a Saturday and you’re enjoying a peaceful sleep in (you know, those things you had before you had kids). And your darling hubby bursts into the room and says “Honey, get dressed! We’re going on a holiday!”
“When?” you ask, as you crack open one sleepy eye and try to process the sentence through a haze of sleep-induced blurriness.
“Right now” he says “Cmon, the kids are in the car waiting”
So you get up and get dressed, he assures you that you don’t need to pack “It’s all taken care of”, hop in the car and off you go.
“So where are we going?” you ask nervously, thinking of all the appointments and plans in your calendar for the next week.
“On holidays” he replies cheerfully. And HE sure seems to know where you’re going, even if you don’t.
“But where on holidays? For how long?” this really isn’t feeling right to you.
“Wherever we end up. And I don’t know, how long are holidays normally?” Hubby is starting to seem not quite so darling and a bit more annoying every minute now.
“So what are we going to do there? What kind of clothes did you pack?” Maybe that will give a clue to where he’s taking you and for how long.
“We’ll do whatever is happening when we get to a holiday somewhere. And I didn’t pack anything, we’ll sort that out as we go” is the cheerful reply.
Ok, that scenario is nuts!!
The Purpose of a Business Plan
Really, nobody sensible would do that, would they? Then why do so many businesses get treated that way, with a happy-go-lucky “I’ll sort it out when and if it happens” attitude. Why not plan for as much as possible – both good and bad – and prevent as many problems as you can? This is the whole purpose of a business plan.
Approximately 98% of WAHMs don’t have a business plan. So the chances are pretty good that if you’re reading this and you’re a WAHM then you don’t have a business plan, or at least not a current one. Am I right so far?
And by business plan I mean one written down on paper, not just in your head. Having a plan in your head is pretty much worthless. It has to get out of your head, onto paper, and have foundations and business strategies put in place to execute it.
If you’re one of the rare few who DO have an up to date business plan then well done. Pat yourself on the back and take a bow. You’re a rarity and well above average. It’s also likely that you’ve been around for a few years and experienced first-hand the advantages of a business plan.
Why WAHMs don’t write business plans
Here’s a list of the most common reasons that I hear around not writing a business plan:
- It’s too hard
- I don’t know what to put down
- I don’t need one for a home business
- It’s in my head
- I don’t have time
- I had one but it didn’t work
- I tried and it was too complicated
- I know what I’m doing
- It started as a hobby and I never got around to it
- What’s a business plan?
Why It’s Important to have a Business Plan
Think about this – there’s a lot of similarities between planning your business and planning your family (although I won’t insist on you writing down your family planning). Keeping this analogy in play – use this to have a think of why it’s so important to have a business plan for your home-based business.
- Some people plan their families years in advance and the timing works out perfectly for the families and they grow precisely in line with their plans
- Some people get a family when they least expect it – what started as a bit of playing around suddenly takes on a life it of it’s own and you’re responsible for it
- Sometimes people will have a great family, and suddenly something outside their control happens and the unit is damaged, separated and destroyed.
- Some people plan for a steady increase in their family, but nature ‘happens’ and they get double or triple what they were expecting
- Or you hook up with someone, and suddenly it’s a package deal and you get fully-developed stepkids, full or part time, thrown into the bargain
- Some people plan to have a family, but no matter what they try and no matter how much money they put into trying – nothing happens, their family never grows and they eventually give up trying and go on with other life.
‘Business plan’ is not a four letter word
All those reasons we saw above are just excuses. None of them are valid, legitimate reasons when you really get down to it. If you’re going to have a business then treat it as a real business, plan for growth and development and make it happen!!
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Melinda is the founder of SuperWAHM.com and started the site to share her learnings to help other Work At Home Mums become more independent and able to spend time with their families