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Have you looked at the map of your business plan today, your vision of what you want? Do you know where you are going and what you must do today to get there?

There are six essential questions to consider when you begin to build a business plan that are pertinent at the beginning of the process, and during periodic reviews throughout the coming years. For those of you who do not own a business, I would encourage you to take these thoughts, and make slight variations so as to apply them to your work or your personal life. They work just as well there as they do within a small business environment.

  1. Who are you, and what do you stand for? This is your identity and it is extremely important for you to be clear about this from the beginning. These are your values, and will show up in your policies and procedures, and your management style.
  2. How do you feel about what you do? Do you love it, or do you merely tolerate it? It is essential that everyone working within the business understand what you stand for; that they know who you are, and how much you care about your business. Your customers will recognize this immediately, and it will make a huge difference in the service you provide.
  3. What are the people you serve telling you? It is key that you understand clearly what they want from you, and what services or product you need to provide to them.
  4. Next, you will need to consider the organization of the business. What structure will you use? Will it be a sole proprietorship, a Limited Liability Corporation, a partnership or a S Corporation? Do you need a trademark?
  5. How are you going to manage your resources? This includes the bookkeeping system you use and how you handle your taxes. How do you want to structure your management of staff? This can include whether you will create teams, keep a relatively flat structure, or develop a hierarchical structure similar to larger corporations. Will you pay a bonus to all employees or just some?
  6. Lastly, how are you going to communicate what you do? This includes colors, brand, website, advertising, and the words you use in your marketing and your elevator speech. As you think about these, keep in mind that they should reflect the passion you feel for what you are doing?

While they are not the facts and figures of a traditional business plan, these six questions begin the thought process of the purpose behind your business, the passion you feel for what you are doing, and how you are going to communicate both internally and externally. Those two ingredients, purpose and passion, are what will make you successful, and will help you build the map for your business. Once you have the map, the details will begin to fall in to place.

Today , I will take the time to plan my day and create an overall plan for my business.

Georgia Feiste, owner of Collaborative Transitions, located in Lincoln, NE, is a business, career and personal life coach, writer, and workshop facilitator with more than thirty years experience as a corporate executive in the insurance industry. If you are in career transition, and considering starting your own business, click here to pick up your Career Transitions: The Initial Stages Special Report, or check out her website at

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