How Long does it Take to Write a Business Plan? Get started in one hour. (Part 1 of 3)

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How long does it take to write a business plan? Get started in one hour.

Part one of a three-part series on writing your business plan.

Post 1 of a 3-part series

How long does it take to write a business plan? Get started in one hour.

One of the most exciting things you’ll ever do is start a new company. Developing your Big Idea into a profitable business makes you incredibly proud and gives you the kind of freedom most people only dream about.

So now that you’re ready to become an entrepreneur, let’s figure out how to succeed.

A single, 60-minute, customized strategy session is all you need.

Open Eye is one of the only places you can go for real-world, real-time (almost), assistance with starting a business that becomes profitable. Our experience is your gain and you’ll have actionable results from the very first hour we spend together.

In one 60-minute, customized strategy session, you will solidify your company’s purpose and values, identify your first set of goals, uncover the exact next steps you need to take, and set yourself up for actual, profitable results.

Are you ready to dig in and work hard? Let’s get started this week. Use this rare opportunity to know things most new business owners take years to understand.

We’ll be moving quickly through a series of questions. Later, you can go back and refine your replies. You’ll learn how to do this often and effectively, so you can keep your momentum going. It’s the most valuable lesson you will learn.

An OpenEye virtual strategy session takes place on your schedule. It’s tailored for your precise size, industry, goals, and challenges. You can go from idea to successful strategy in 60 minutes. Invite anyone you want to participate.

Together, we will accomplish the four key steps for starting any new successful business.

  1. Solidify your company’s purpose and values
  2. Identify your top three to five goals over a specific time period
  3. Uncover the exact tasks and activities for hitting each goal
  4. Set the foundation for accountability and follow through

A strategic plan is a map for discovery.

An Open Eye new business strategy session is not chit chat about lofty themes with your rich uncle over an expensive lunch on your tab. It is a very real conversation that results in an action plan you can control and follow.

Once you have that plan, you’ll have a starting point for a bigger plan with additional Open Eye Experts, if you choose. Once you see how effectively we work together, it will be easier to envision a more robust relationship with our experts.
Many people shy away from starting a business because they think they must write a long, massively complex business plan that covers every possible variable, lays out a five-year profit and loss prediction, and could live another life as an MBA thesis.

Not true! After our one-hour session, you’ll have a one-page strategy plan that accomplishes everything you need at this point.

Keeping it simple, like a one-page strategy plan, means you can move on to the fun stuff!

Your personalized, one-page strategy plan gives you:

  1. Clarity on what needs to be done to reach your goals and why these goals are important
  2. Confidence in knowing which objectives/activities will have the greatest impact on your company’s ultimate success and how to break down each one into manageable tasks
  3. Control of accountability mechanisms that will guarantee consistent progress

Okay but really? A real plan in only an hour?

That all sounds well and good, but can you really do all that in one hour? Yes, you absolutely can. Here’s how it works.

1. Did everyone do their homework? Our pre-session prep means no wasted time (3 minutes).

We will have gathered some basic information from you before scheduling your session. The next step may vary a little based on that information, but it will help you uncover your actual goal with this new company. Is it only about profit for you? Are there also bigger goals, like sustainability, inclusiveness, or customer service? When we figure that out, we will have your definition of success. It will be very clear to you. You’ll discover if your idea is even feasible, in the sense that you hope. We will use all of our expertise, forged from broad and deep professional experience, to help you get the most value possible from our time together. It’s like having a whole panel of mentors, all focused on your idea and making it work.

2. Are you in the elevator yet? Let’s craft a pitch that wows (7 minutes)!

Before we start, you’ll have already received some of our key (and free) pre-session worksheets to guide you whenever possible. With this knowledge, we will help you discover the clearest way to describe your company’s purpose, often referred to as its ‘mission’, using words and terms that investors and decision-makers are using today. The goal is to challenge you to start understanding how to talk about your company with others. Ever heard of an elevator pitch? It’s when you distill your company mission down to the time you have to talk on an average elevator ride, maybe with a potential partner, investor, or customer. When you know your business mission like the back of your hand, you’ll be far more prepared to succeed.

Once you have that mission statement, you will return to it again and again, making sure everything you do aligns with that main goal.
The biggest question you will answer is “why is that our mission?” Once you know the why, you can begin to figure out the how. And your mission statement will always remind you of the why. Many business owners print out that mission statement and keep it very visible, from their own desk and that of co-workers, so it’s part of every decision.

We’ll be asking you to think about the core functions of your company, who you intend to serve, what the average customer will expect to receive from you, and what you will accomplish as a business owner. What will you say when we ask you to complete the sentence, “We are in business so we can _____?”

Once we know those answers, you will be able to craft a mission statement for every elevator opportunity, and one you’ll be so eager to share, your excitement will excite others about being involved. That’s how successful businesses start: with an extremely clear understanding of what they do, why they are the best at doing it, and why anyone would want to do business with them. Your one-page strategy plan will start with this mission statement.

3. What is your definition of success (5 minutes)?

However you define success, you define the core values of the company, because they define your course of action. We will go over your responses to those early questions, and look for ways to define your company values. If you stick to your values, the courses of action can vary according to opportunity.

Your one-page plan will record those values, so you never forget them. And if you decide strategy needs to change or be modified, you will have a map to proceed forward, while staying true to your core values.

These kinds of discussions also help build your team. Everyone needs to be on the same page when it comes to why this business is important and how it will succeed. When everyone gets to participate in designing and describing these company principles, they will be more loyal and likely to stick to them when it’s easy and when it’s difficult.

4. How to build your team without breaking the bank (15 minutes).

Remember that wild movie reveal that the kid could see, well, dead people? And the main character was one of those dead people? It was a delicious shock, the kind that makes movies super fun. You want to look out over your team and see successful people. To gain from your smart choices, you have to work with smart, driven people. Find people you can trust, and you’ll be able to work with them to hit your goals. At Open Eye, we employ only successful Experts, people with proven experience in your business category. You’ll get to know us and we’ll understand you. You’ll see how we personalize every transaction to meet your needs and goals. We never try to force you to adopt our ways of thinking and doing, like many consultants do.
We’ll spend this time helping you get crystal clear on where you are and where you want to go in the next month, in six months, in a year. You’ll see what it looks like from the inside and from the customer’s point of view. You’ll understand the kind of data you may need, how to source and use that data, and how to make the best of every asset you have.

5. Your Big Idea can change the world (15 minutes).

By now you’ll be more than ready to define success. We’ll talk about things like branding, revenue streams, expenses, staffing, and marketing. We’ll get down to the real-real about how your business will succeed. We’ll look at existing relationships and how to build new connections. You’ll be overflowing with ideas and comments, so this is the section of your one-page plan that you’ll probably spend the most time working on, and then reviewing and refining, once we’ve concluded the one-hour session. It’s also the most fun and you will have an amazing time realizing that yes, what was once an idea, a dream, can actually become a successful business! It’s not easy but it’s so worth it.

6. Let Open Eye keep your Big Idea on track (15 minutes).

By the time we’re almost finished, you may have a ton of notes and questions. We’ll give you a pad of sticky notes so you can key in on the most important and keep them at the top of your mind. We’ll start to lay out a calendar, so you can predict your work flow for the next few weeks and months. You’ll see clearly defined tasks, with sub-tasks, or ‘milestones’ that will measure your progress. You’ll begin to understand when and where you may need to make changes. You’ll start to see the path to success.

This is going to be an exciting, incredibly valuable hour. You won’t believe what you’ll accomplish until you see it in front of you. You’ll have an actual strategy plan for getting started, and a vision of what’s to come. The best part is, we will know each other, and we will already be working together as a team.

And if you think your idea is crazy or impossible, you’re wrong. We’ve yet to meet an idea we couldn’t support. Many of us have been helping new businesses develop for many years. We get excited to share your excitement and we thrive on watching you make your Big Idea a reality.

Call or email us TODAY. Don’t wait one more minute. It will only take an hour, this whole discussion. You’ll have that one-page plan, and we’ll help you write every word.

NEXT TIME: From one-hour strategy session to market success in nine months.
An Open Eye case study

Jan Winter

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We’re here to help and eager to get started.