Time is valuable and we are all swamped in a tsunami of information so this really an important question you need to ask yourself. You might consider reading this if you are:
- operating a tiny business (see the Jan 18th TBM blog post) and it’s not as much fun as you thought it would be or it’s outright painful
- operating a business successfully and you might be able to add helpful insights to others reading this blog (including the author – me)
- thinking about starting a tiny business and you want to learn what you need to know to operate a business and are hoping this might be of some help
Of course everyone is welcome regardless of your reasons for reading.
Tiny Business Mentor is assuming that your business is a service oriented business, i.e. you are be using your expertise and experience to provide some service to your customer. This doesn’t mean the approach won’t work with a manufacturing, i.e. craft business, in fact the first example I developed to help “test out” the approach was just such a business and it worked out pretty well. Another assumption is that you are highly competent in whatever service you are providing. So if you know your business inside and out and are an expert in your field why do you need this “extra planning stuff”? Believe it or not, there are some very good reasons:
- It allows you to be in more than one place at a time
Part of the planning is to write down your vision or approach. This becomes a big part of your “story” and that combined with an explanation of what you do and how you do it (another part of the planning effort) can be given to those who might be interested to read and get a sense of what you do.
- It helps you keep track of the details
Your business consists of you (and maybe a few others) so you don’t have time to repeatedly go over things to make sure you’ve thought of everything. The “extra planning stuff” can help you do it once and forget it.
- Improve the visibility of how you do business
You are providing an important service to your customers, a service that if not provided properly could seriously impact they’re plans. Providing a view in how you do your routine business will help them feel more comfortable and more willing to contract with you.
- Expands your opportunities
Funding for expansion, cash flow management, etc. often requires a business plan as one of the first pieces of the line of credit request. Government contracts often require parts of a business plan to be included in your proposal in order to effectively compete. Competing for partnering and prime/sub-contracting arrangements often are helped by the “extra planning stuff”.