Blog Post (with free worksheet)
Working on a business plan (especially for strategy) can be really frustrating. Most people find that finishing a business plan feels like a huge daunting task. Something that will take forever. Something that will take a ton of time.
This thinking leads to never actually starting a business plan at all.
Are you suffering from business plan writer’s block? First of all, don’t sweat it. Many entrepreneurs get stuck at this stage. Writing a business plan, when done right, is a monumental task to tackle. Here’s how to stop procrastinating and just take it one step at a time:
Tip 1: Pair the Goal to “Finish a Business Plan” with a Deadline (“by xx date”)
An attainable goal is not “Write my business plan.” No way. Writing a business plan is a huge deal. Rather, a proper goal has a timeline and a quantifiable, achievable element. For example: “Write 300 words by March 1.” “Complete my bio by Saturday.” Or, “Invest 30 minutes in market research each day for a week.”
Tip 2: Bite Sized Pieces
Learn the value of getting that small chunk done – today. That next small chunk completed tomorrow. There is tremendous importance in getting started now, especially if your idea is time-sensitive. And in order to finish successfully, you must tackle it in increments.
Tip 3: Learn Accountability Skills
There’s no more powerful motivator than being accountable to another person. It’s the reason support-based companies like Weight Watchers are so successful. Ask a trusted friend or business partner to check in with you weekly with questions that require full answers (not just yeah or no), such as: “How much did you complete this week? What actionable tasks did you knock out?”
Or, if your business idea is more in your head at this stage, set up deadline-backed milestones. This is how this might look: You ask a friend up-front to review your bio, and say you will have it in her Inbox by COB Friday. Then get started. Try asking an expert in your market, or a mentor who runs their own business, if you can run some numbers and theories by them, to see what jives up. Once you set a date, scramble to do your research. Set mini-deadlines in this way, until the business plan snow-balls its way to completion.
Tip 4: Identify what’s standing in the way
Often, entrepreneurs get stuck on one thing or another when writing a business plan. It’s up to that individual to figure out what the hang-up is. Maybe it’s fear. Maybe it’s a feeling of discomfort or lack of knowledge to correctly complete a certain section. Identifying the issue is half the battle, and can help you make an educated decision on whether it’s time to seek professional help.
There are 4 questions to ask yourself to see where you might be stuck. These questions challenge you to see obstacles that you don’t necessarily recognize naturally.