Your personal business plan, Part 1

When you hear the words “business plan” you may shrink back conjuring up hours of detailed work involving looking up past records and projecting into the future – work that really only belongs to big business, not your small business.

Let me tall you that you have far from the right impression of what a business plan for a small business really entails. Let me explain.

Not having a plan is totally unacceptable. Would you steer across the waters to your far away destination without a chart and compass? Of course not. Yet, that’s what you would be doing without a plan. I have been involved with business plans all my life working for big international companies as  well as in muy own business. Let me tell you that what bid business go through has something, but very little in common with what I want you to do.

Read the following, undisturbed and totally focused on what a wonderful experience your personal business plan will bring. A plan, any plan, brings with it energy, determination and focus – if you really believe in it. However, to really believe in it, your heart and soul must be in it, coupled with your intense determination that you will get to the goals you set up.


Where do you want to be in three years?

Start with a three year plan. You cannot see clearly beyond that time frame – fast changes in your environment make anything beyond that hard to see. But three years is a period when you can introduce a lot of change, adjust your direction when outside influences so demand (nothing wrong with that), and keep heading towards  your goals.

We all have in us a treasury of knowledge stemming from all knowledge and experience gathered during all the previous years of our lives. We have a desire to be someone, to be recognized, to realize that we can make a difference, that we can triumph. The more you think in those general terms, the more eager you get to see it happen.

I this article series, I have started to give you tools to work with in business. Consider them as tools on a vast pegboard, where you can consult for guidance and – most importantly – can keep hanging additional tools that you yourself have created or learnt from trusted sources. The pegboard will never by full. There is no such thing as “I can’t do that because I don’t know how”. Why? Because what you don’t know can be found and learnt and be hung on that pegboard. The challenge is to find out where you need help and where to find it. With the energy created from your plan you will find the questions and the answers. And – as pointed out earlier in this series of articles – you have a support group that underpins your business - your trusted accountant and lawyer, your family, your e-commerce expert, your successful colleagues and information through reading/studying books or looking up information on the internet.

If you know the right question and present it to the appropriate advisor, you can find the right answer.

Make that part of your plan – now you can set out to accomplish anything, because the “I can’t do it” is removed. The future is yours. You can feel the excitement growing. You are taking command of the future. It lifts you up.

Next, you need to sit down and think through what you really want to be, where and when. There are no limits. All the walls stopping you from getting there are removed. The field is open, green and inviting. The goal is exciting and energizing. You are on your way.


What will my goal be?

Now that you got your mindset right, you can start putting things on paper. Start with writing downpart of what your three year goal is. Regardless in what area of ceramics you specialize in, your goals may read something like this. In three years -

  1. I want my business to be sustainable and profitable.
  2. I will have established myself as a reliable, knowledgeable and inspiring role model in my niche.
  3. I have  a structure in my business that I can work with to bring me to new heights such as a recognized product or service (for instance teaching).
  4. I have a loyal clientele and a system to bring more customers to me to substitute for customers that leave me and add more beyond that.
  5. I have developed a higher technical proficiency and feel that in that regard, the “sky is the limit”.
  6. I know the geographic limits of my business and have a good idea of its potential. I may also know that there will be no geographic limits to my business.
  7. I know how to – at low cost – reach my customers to encourage them, give them value from buying my products or services and – deepen my relationship with them.
  8. I have learnt public speaking and generally how to improve people’s perception of me.


How will I get there in three short years? How will I get the money? Time has come for practical and concrete thinking. We will deal with that in part 2.


Copyright Protection
© 2011 by Rolf E. Ericson, Oneonta, New York, publisher. All rights reserved. Photocopying, reproduction , copying, or redistribution of any kind in printed or electronic form is strictly prohibited without written permission from the publisher.