Mind Your Own Business (Your Business Plan)

You ever have someone tell you to mind your own business, dear readers? It’s a fairly common saying in our western culture. It’s supposed to be a direct way of telling others to stop meddling in that which does not concern them.

The expression started out innocently enough.

It came from the Christian bible and in particular from the New Testament. I’ll share the verse with you for reference –

…and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you,

1 Thessalonians 4:11

As time passed it slowly entrenched itself into our culture more and more, and even had a place on the first official 1 cent coin of the United States when it was designed in 1787.

By the 1930s a slang version of the phrase came up, which stated “mind your own beeswax.” Author Eric Frank Russell shortened the phrase into Myob!, and various comedians like Kevin Hart and Eddie Murphy have used it in their standup. My personal favourite is, of course, from pop culture.

Will Smith’s Fresh Prince persona has a solid point.You have to stand up for yourself and if it comes to it, tell people to lay off. Now, what does that have to do with today’s Wisdom Wednesday? Well, if you recall there was a time, roughly two months ago, when I wrote about the importance of marketing. And it just so happens that one of the associated points on marketing for a professional was developing a business plan.

Your reason to be, or as they say in french, votre raison d’être.

Writing you business plan may seem stressful at first glance, but it’s not that difficult to do, which is why we will start with the framework of your business plan –

http://www.canadabusiness.ca/eng/page/2753/

Business plans come in all shapes and sizes, but every business plan needs to consider its audience, the business goals, and especially the mode of delivery. I took this layout directly from the Canada Business Network section of the Government of Canada website, so you know that we’re not messing around on timotheories.

Here are some sections that you could POTENTIALLY include in your plan:

  • Executive summary
  • Business strategy
  • Marketing strategy
  • Operational plan
  • Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis
  • Human resources plan
  • Social responsibility strategy
  • E-business strategy
  • Financial forecasts and other information
  • Business exit strategy
  • Additional resources

But now you’re probably wondering how to get started in filling out those sections. Well, I went to another website to dig up some info on example business plans and get you art makers and art shakers some tips.

And here are a few tips to get you started on your own business plan –

  1. Look at other industries that already do what you do, for inspiration. But you need not worry about looking for a duplicate match. The reality is that even if another business functions similarly to yours, every business has a different location, team, and business strategy governing it. Just like individuals.
  2. Emulate their plans at the first draft, and scour other sources with each revision. Good artists copy ideas, and great artists steal them. I think some guy obsessed with apples said that once. You’ll get over your initial fears, learn something about your business, and potentially gain new ideas.
  3. Remember to write your business plan, avoid the copypasta. Professionals like lawyers and accountants can see through this and because your vision isn’t there, you only hurt your businesses chance of success in the long run.
  4. Like art, the real joy and growth comes from the process. You are creating a business plan. And like any creative pursuit, questions arise and insights are gained. You’ll be forced to answer questions you didn’t know you had, and you can then share your vision with stakeholders and anyone you think should know about it.
  5. Build a better business by using your plan every day. Put it on the wall, and keep it there so that any time you have questions about growth, strategy, and costs, you can stay on target and grow your business the right way.

All of it comes down to this, if you mind your business, people will mind their own and you’ll get a innumerable amount of monkeys off of your back. But that’s just a theory.

Tim!

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