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First off, congratulations if you’re still reading after seeing the words “business plan” in the title.Statistics show that writing a business plan can make entrepreneurs 40% less likely to fail due to cash flow issues.
This simple format means you can apply the Lean Planning process to your business at any stage, from “maybe I’ll leave the cubicle one day,” to an investment-ready startup, an Etsy store that might want to expand, an up-and-running bagel shop, and anything else you can dream of.
As you read through the steps below, jot down what you would include about your business in each section.
Avoid questions that lead them to your solution—this is a learning experience for you, so trust the responses you hear.
Do this work now, before you invest more time and money into a business idea that might need to pivot.
I might revise “smooth and creamy and organic” to something like: Another pitfall is obsessing over the taglines of hugely successful businesses.
For now, stick to the basics so you can grow into a company that tells customers to “Think Different,” or “Just Do It.” But don’t start with those taglines here.
Noah Parsons provides more details on building your target persona here.
In the target market example below, we see a product that appeals only to men who are 14 and older, with a dramatic spike in spending habits among men who are between the ages of 25 and 40.
This article will guide you through the least amount of work needed to create a startup business plan.
We call this approach Lean Planning, which basically means that you’ll first make your best guesses about your business needs, and then you’ll revise those guesses regularly, ideally once a month.