Picture it! You’re sitting by yourself in your office, or maybe you are out at a restaurant waiting on friends. You suddenly have a ‘eureka’ moment, or to kill time waiting you begin to draft some business ideas and plans out on a napkin or a scratch piece of paper. You get done scribbling out your ideas and plans, or your friends show up, and you stick that napkin or paper in your pocket or desk drawer. Unfortunately for most, they are never to be seen again.

Has this happened to you? More importantly, have you done this? You have all of these great ideas floating around, you scribble them out quickly before you forget them, and then suddenly that napkin or paper is gone. Or maybe you are the type like so many ‘business owners’ I meet that proudly states as they point to their head “It’s all up here” and are very serious about that.

Is this you Mr/Ms Business Owner? A so-called entrepreneur with a business plan scribbled on a paper napkin or that exists in your head?

Although the scenario is not meant to be funny, I cannot help to laugh when a business owner admits to me that they have done that more than once and their next statement to me is “I do not know why I am not making money.”

Nine out of ten business owners I talk to, meet or work with, do NOT have a business plan, and yet they consider themselves an entrepreneur (but that is for another article).

The majority of business owners understand the importance of having a business plan, they just do not want to invest the time or money into creating one, or giving them the benefit of the doubt, they do not know how to go about creating one. Now, I could be happy about this as it is good for my business. But quite honestly, I would love it if they did have a workable business plan that they were executing against, even partially, as it would make it so much easier for them to adjust things that were not working and enhance the things that were. It would also allow us when working together to work on more strategic activities like business development or brand expansion versus the basics of owning and managing a business.

So to get to the basics of business planning:

You can create a business plan on your own as there are resources such as SBA.gov that provides online templates, advice, and articles for you to reference while creating your business plan.

There are also expert consultants and coaches out there that partner with businesses to create plans for their business. Just be sure you find out from them if they specialize in business plan development or if it is just an additional service they provide. You want to be sure to ask them about their process for creating a business plan, their background in developing them, the types of customers they have worked with, and ask to see some sample plans they have created. You want someone that specializes in business planning (and the financial components) and not just does it as a secondary service and therefore may not provide you what you need.

That being said, it is a great deal of fun to spend time with an entrepreneurial business owner, getting them to dig down deep into their personal, emotional, financial and professional depths and reveal the why, what, where, when and how they are in the business they are in, doing what they are doing. The responses and realities can be so revealing. They are often more surprised at themselves than I am. The look on their face, the tone of their voice, their level of energy, and the motivation they bring to each meeting is really exciting. They are exhilarated by the talking, strategizing, and brainstorming on new or different goals and tactics that are uncovered. The process gives them the opportunity to consider new target customers, markets, products or services. They can strategize on how to grow their team, improve their operations and processes. The business planning process provides them the time to be entrepreneurial, and they love it. And as they begin to execute and leverage the plan that is established they can see themselves accomplishing and achieving their goals much clearer.

So, whether it is a simple 1 year plan or an in-depth 3-5 year plan, 2 pages or 27 pages, knowing where you are going, why, where, when and how, is energizing, motivating and gives you a great sense of control that you will obtain the prosperity that you have set out to achieve. How great is that!

LIKE Shedding the Bitch(tm) on Facebook and get a Free Ebook

Buy the book at www.sheddingthecorporatebitch.com

Or submit your own story for publication in a future Shedding the Bitch book, or simply leave your comments at www.sheddingthebitch.com

Author's Bio: 

As President of The Boas Group, based in Atlanta, Georgia, Bernadette Boas is “a ball of fire” who compels businesses to excel in achieving their companies’ and their personal superior financial goals.

Energy, passion and a wealth of corporate and entrepreneurial experience characterize her current business consulting, coaching and public speaking practice, extending her business into a global media communications firm that includes radio, television, books, CD’s and other educational medium.

Powered by Focal Point International, the business coaching and development organization of world-renowned speaker, author and coach, Brian Tracy, FocalPoint Coaching of The Boas Group deploys its knowledge, expertise, tools and leadership to help clients increase productivity, outperform the competition and reach new heights of success.

Two corporate decades of driving change and delivering significant revenue increases to Fortune 1000 retailers such as Wal-Mart , Federated Department Stores, Office Depot, Sears, and others, as well overseeing a Global Professional Services Organization Development team, have culminated in a consulting, coaching and public speaking practice that provides its services to new start-ups and established small and midsize businesses.

Bernadette Boas is a member of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the Atlanta Business Alliance, Atlanta Women in Business, the Buckhead Business Association, Women Leadership Exchange, and the National Association of Professional Women. She is active with the Junior Achievement’s Fellowship Program, Toastmasters International, and speaks about “Creation of the Entrepreneur™,” to groups and companies of all sizes, at colleges and universities, United Way and Chamber of Commerce events, and business and association meetings.