4 Mission-Essential Mindset Hacks For Making a Business Plan that Works

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Making a business plan isn’t just about the paper. Here, we’ll be talking about the mindset behind the business plan you’ll need to be successful.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people with seemingly good business concepts who attempt to make a business plan (financials and all), and never get any valuable use out of it. Some people are paying more than $1000 to have someone make a business plan for them, but it has no practical relevance to how they take action in their day-to-day lives to achieve the fore stated business results. What’s the point?

The Problem With Making a Business Plan Today

Part of the reason making a business plan has become such an utter disappointment to so many people is because they’re following academic processes rather than practical ones. In academia (including many books), making a business plan can be an overcomplicated process.

The Academic Business Plan

With the academic business plan, most of your forecasts are based on “market research” and industry trends rather than basing the expected results off of the person who will be implementing the plan (you). It’s backwards.

If I compared the process of making a business plan the academic way, it would be like saying we can know how fast you can run based on the average runner in your neighborhood. It doesn’t work!

Just because a business in your industry down the street is making a business plan that’s generating profits does not mean you’ll make a business plan that works. I don’t mean to “bust your bubble”, but there are some mindset factors that are REQUIRED before making a business plan that works.

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How The Compound Effect Plays into Making A Business Plan

When you’re starting a business or even growing a business, you want making a business plan to remain simple because the reality of business is that it’s a compilation of experiments. Business is a science. In his book, Compound Effect, Darren Hardy talked about how each decision we make (good or bad) compounds onto the next, and creates correlating consequences.

The compound effect applies to business. You make a simple goal. You can make the goal to learn a valuable skill. Maybe you want to learn search engine optimization, marketing, or some other skill. Setting the goal is the first step. The success of a business is the compilation of small goals scaled up. Even more, a successful business takes a successful experiment and scales it.

A Little Background on Me

I’ve taken quite a few University classes, programs thru the Small Business Administration, high-end coaching programs, and paid for many other professional development programs to learn entrepreneurship. The Business plan is one of the most convoluted topics. It’s become 100+ pages of academic crap!

When I was starting out as an entrepreneur, doing the side hustles I told you about on my post 25+ Side Hustles here, I would do market research, and create an academic business plan. Do you think the etiquette or time spent on writing a good-looking business plan stopped my business ventures from failing? Absolutely not! The key to my successful (profitable) business plans starts with the mindset I’m telling you here.

Mindset Ingredient #1: Commitment

The nuts and bolts ingredient for my successful business ventures has been commitment. You need to commit to your business idea. Yes, you will want to be flexible, so as your experiments teach you more and more about how to make the business work, you can follow the customer demand. You don’t want to start and stop, give up prematurely, or get the reputation of being an unreliable person. In business, your reputation is everything, and commitment and consistency help create a sound reputation.

Mindset Ingredient #2: Resilience

Rather than your business plan being a cluster of research, hypothetical mambo jumbo, and a mashup of what worked for other companies, you want to think of your ultimate business plan as a document that states your beginning (or ongoing experiments). starter business plan will basically illustrate the opportunity you have in mind, how you think you can get there, who you will need to help you, what tools you will use, and ways you’ll measure your success.

Whether you are a seasoned entrepreneur or not, every business has elements of experimentation. For this reason, even large companies will have major flops. For example, look at the major flop Coca Cola had after 99 years in business! New Coke was a major flop! Can you imagine how many millions of people would have been absent of their favorite drinks if Coca Cola decided to give up after their New Coke flop?

Failed experiments are unavoidable, but your response to them will say a lot about your overall success as an entrepreneur. You need to bounce back when making a business plan because not all experiments will be successful–that’s the reality of the game of business.

Successful Mindset Ingredient #3: Vision

When you go into making a business plan, you have to have vision. There has to be a desired outcome or a goal. The desired outcome could be, “I want this business to generate X amount in sales monthly” or it could be “I want this business to help X amount of people weekly”, then you create a strategy with milestones, and challenge yourself (and your team if you have one) to attain the goal. Now, the goals have to be SMART goals, and they must be there.

The vision should encompass the desired outcome (at a minimum).

Successful Mindset Ingredient #4 for Making A Business Plan: Strategy

The strategy to reach the vision is what you create or you hire someone like me or my team to help you devise. The strategy should be a proposal on what actionable steps you are going to take (whether in marketing, in customer service, or whichever business aspect) to reach the desired outcome.

Hiring a business strategist can be the lifeblood to your business because their area of expertise is in driving businesses from point A to point B and so on. Essentially, your strategy will tie all the other ingredients together and your action on making the business plan come to life will make your business successful.

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Successful Mindset Ingredient #4: Solution-Focus and Willingness to Reach out

Don’t get tied up on making a business plan document. Focus on your first baby step, then your second baby step, and your third. Write down the baby steps you are going to take to achieve your business and write the desired outcome for your actions. Continue to reference what you’ve written and the deadlines you’ve written. If you get tied up, reach out and find a book, course, webinar, or contact me to help you navigate your business concern.

Udemy is an amazing resource for budget-friendly courses on subject matter like making a business plan.  I’ve taken tons of courses there, and I recommend checking them out!  You can find courses sometimes as low as $10 that will give you extreme practical value day after day.

However, budget-friendly courses are just that…budget-friendly courses.  Sometimes you need a hand more than an article or course can give.  How to Entrepreneur is here for you. Everything I create was made to ensure you don’t stay stuck in a business rut when you have business questions or concerns, so utilize the resources we provide or reach out if you don’t see something you need. I’ll do my best to make it.

Sidenote: That’s why small businesses and startups are exciting to connect to. We can be flexible like that because every customer counts.

The Worse Thing You Could Do When Making A Business Plan

The worse thing to do is to dwell on a problem too long. The quicker you can create solutions, the quicker you will continue climbing your ladder to success.

Let making a business plan be exciting. Besides, it’s a document that challenges you to reach a higher potential personally and in your business–that’s all. Like I said, reach out if you need help making a business plan or strategy. My team and I have loads of experience creating business strategies and making a business plan for clients. We offer 15 minute free consultations, so you can see if we’re a good fit for you, so there’s no risk involved.

Hopefully this helps.  Now it’s your turn…What are your experiences with making a business plan?  Have you done them the academic way?  How did that work out for you?  Have you done them the practical way?  What results have you gotten from that?

I’d love to hear your experiences!  Leave your comments below.

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20 thoughts on “4 Mission-Essential Mindset Hacks For Making a Business Plan that Works”

  1. jessie palaypay

    You brought something interesting to my mind when you mentioned academic business plans vs practical business plans. A lot of academia expects perfectionism when it comes to everything. Unfortunately, most business plans never go according to the plan of perfect, and there is a necessity to be able to adapt on the fly.

    Why does academia talk so much about business plans? I hear that most except a certain few even have a business outside of their teaching jobs.

    1. Thanks so much Jessie for stopping by!  I agree with academia that business plans are important.  It’s the process of creating them that I disagree with.  Why should you spend so much time basing your business on the success of others thru market research?  It just doesn’t make sense.  As I said in the article, it’s like comparing how fast you SHOULD be able to run based on the average speed in your neighborhood.  Do you think that’s a good measuring stick for running speed?  I don’t, so why do we use that to measure a potential business success?

      I agree that very few professors actually have thriving businesses when teaching business schools, however, some school are noticing the contradiction in that.  My entrepreneurship program actually had quite a few professors who were in business themselves, but they had not challenged the process of building the business plan, so we learned a mumbo jumbo mashup.

      I hope the article was helpful to you.  Please stop back by soon! All the best in your business!

  2. Thanks for the article Tiffany. Understanding your mission is crucial to developing a business plan.

    Without it, we are not motivated and have no ideas why we are doing the things we do. A lot of people are always a step away from starting.

    I think resilience and perseverance is the most important part when trying to realize a dream. You could have things going along great and then give up. This may be right before success was about to hit like a hammer!

    1. Ernest, you couldn’t be more right about understanding your mission–that’s a must!  I can tell you’re also a businessman because you’ve identified the importance of two key ingredients: resilience and perseverence.  I have a question for you…Why do you think perseverence and resilience is more important than commitment?

  3. Marques Pizarro

    Thank you for sharing these tips! My favorite advice that you shared is to be Solution-Focus and Willingness to Reach out to the audience. I must take baby steps, network, and connect with my audience. Also, I love how these tips are not practical, these are unique and valuable. This has changed my mindset, thank you so much!

  4. This is an excellent post, Tiffany, on the essentials for creating a successful business. As you clearly state, too many young or new entrepreneurs get lost in the “mumbo-jumbo”!

    Business plans must be simple and focused on a few easy goals. Too many ideas and too many plans with little or no focus on the essentials always lead to failure.

    Research and education are of primordial importance.

    What do you believe to be the single greatest cause of failure for entrepreneurs?

    Are “street-smarts” more important than “academia” or do they both have their time and place?

    Your description of the many pitfalls makes this post an important “read” for all entrepreneurs.


    1. Paul, I would say the single greatest cause of failure is lack of commitment.  Personally, I only failed on the businesses I didn’t persevere thru.  I think that most entrepreneurs would find a solution if they simply committed and focused on it.

      Now your question about “street smarts” vs. “academia” is tough.  I have acquired alot of good knowledge from the classroom (even on a social level), however, from my experience, I have learned the most from applied knowledge.  Academia gives insight, but when the insight is put to action, it has a different/increased level of power.  My opinion.  What are your thoughts?

      Thanks so much for stopping by!  I’d love to see you around more in the future!

  5. Hi Tiffany,

    What a breath of fresh air. I’ve always been somewhat perplexed by academia and the seemingly lost concept of not so common sense. While yes, the nuts and bolts of a business outline is wise starting out, I think it’s easy to go into paralysis of analysis very quickly. I’ve always been a huge believer in grit and determination, even over talent.

    As a brand new blogger it’s good for me to read articles like this, which highlight the importance of pushing forward through obstacles. The whole idea of paying someone thousands of dollars to generate a business plan seems absurd. As well versed as they may be in industry knowledge, there is no way they will know the capabilities of the individual. Thanks for the great post!

    1. Thanks so much Ang for stopping by! It’s always great to hear someone agrees. I used to think about the sense of making a business plan that doesn’t evaluate individual achievement, and think, “Maybe it’s me” because the format is so common. I’m glad the article could be helpful, and I’m hoping to post more helpful information in the future. Please stop back by! Have a great day!

  6. Wow – these are some great points! A business plan should be about the person running the business. I think we can easily lose the heart and soul of our businesses by writing an academic plan and you’ve done a great job of describing the pitfalls of this method. It definitely has given me some food for thought! I find it’s very helpful to have mentor – they don’t have to be in the same business, they just have to be strong at something you need help with!

    1. Thanks Traci for stopping by. You made a great point about mentorship. I’ve found mentorship is paramount for me, and I always maintain a presence of people who are strong at things I’m not. I can’t remember who said it, but someone said “If you are the best in the class, you need to go to another classroom”. You constantly need a tug to grow. Hope to see you around again soon!

  7. This is a great article, especially for young entrepreneurs starting out. You are so right about the “ivory Tower” directions not always meeting the needs of reality.

    1. Thanks Heidi. I just want people to focus on the action and commitment side of the business plan, and not place too much emphasis on the formalities that won’t make the business work.

  8. Great article, I try to bring the same mindset in everything I do, it definitely pays to take that first step. All of the dominoes just start falling after that!

  9. “A successful business is a compilation of small goals scaled up” – I love that line! love #4, really so true. Business is totally about connections and solving problems!

  10. Hi, great post. I have never been one much for business plans to be honest. I’m a doer and then a ‘figure-out-how-it-went’ kind of person. But this post was fascinating and gave me a lot of insight. Thanks!

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