I never finished writing my business plan for my crafting business. When I crunched the numbers awhile back and learned that I'd never be able to make this the kind of business I wanted it to be, and also be able to give up my day job, I stopped working on it.
I won't go into the details about that decision again - it's in a previous blog post if you missed it and are interested.
I'm not stopping or giving up on this business. I love it too much for that. But I'm no long putting all my energy into growing or developing it any further than where I have it right now. I will do all the work I need to do to keep it as successful as I already am. I love the happy e-mails from customers, and the pictures of kids enjoying something I made. How could anyone walk away from that? But I'm not expanding. This is good, this is where I want to be.
I did promise you all some advice on writing a business plan. So I'm here tonight to fill that promise. Even if you don't 'need' a plan ( if you're small and don't plan to seek investors or a loan there's no business law that says you must have a written business plan to be legitimate) it can still be a good idea to help you focus and organize your business. It may get you to think about things you haven't addressed before. Anything that helps your business move forward is helpful.
I am going to wimp out of actually walking you through the whole process myself. I found these links that do a great job of detailing what goes into a plan. They explain it probably better than I could myself anyway.
Another wonderful resource to look into is to find your local Small Business Development Center. My husband took a class on how to write a business plan from them for his IT business and it helped a great deal in focusing our marketing efforts. Ours offers all sorts of classes, and free one on one counseling too. Don't ever feel that you're company is too small to talk to someone at a Business Development Center. I've taken a class and also spoken with them on several occasions. Helping small business is what they're all about. They've probably seen plenty of businesses that are smaller and less organized than you.
Business plan instructions: