Reach - Then Teach
Dear Hannah: LEarning (Writing Your First Business Plan (WYFBP))
"LEarning (Writing Your First Business Plan (WYFBP))"
By Derrick Brown
Many years ago, I developed a six-week class called "Writing Your First Business Plan".
The purpose of the class was to help entrepreneurs with GOoD ideas (good ideas from God) "wrap their minds" around their vision, mission, and steps - in a way that established and built positive momentum.
Vision describes what your efforts will produce / create - it describes your "end".
Mission describes the concrete path to your vision - it descibes your "means".
Steps describe specific projects and tasks required to navigate that path - your "who", "what", "when", "where", "why", and "how".
I developed the class after reviewing the path I had navigated thus far while implementing my own vision.
My path began with a one-page business plan - written in the Summer of 1993 - that outlined my approach to being a computer consultant.
I was 23 when I wrote it, but even by then I understood that using a computer was my strongest skill set.
Educating and empowering people by learning to use computers efficiently was my strongest interest (my passion).
In 1996, I wrote a more formal business plan that helped launch an African-related Internet directory called The Universal Black Pages (UBP).
My current venture, KnowledgeBase, was first UBP's marketing and outreach arm - then we went "solo" in 1998.
All of this was defined and outlined in that formal plan - which received a lot of positive feedback, and allowed us to run our business "on paper".
This helped us avoid a lot of costly mistakes (I mean financial ones).
We still made more than our fair share (especially management & leadership ones), and earned some painful wisdom through lessons learned.
Through it all, though, I remembered that one-page plan, and the confidence, clarity, and calm it brought when I finished it.
I wanted to outline a process that would help others achieve that same confidence, clarity, and calm.
Then I wanted to walk through that process with them.
Let me show it to you ...