Write! Right?

Don't google "how to write a business plan." For real. Well, don't do it unless you have an hour or two to head down the rabbit hole and the next 3 hours to stress about what you don't know. Templates, how-tos, examples, forums, people telling you they'll write your business plan for $49.99, people telling you they'll write your business plan for $4,999.99. It's overwhelming. Sometimes, so much so that it makes you not want to write a plan at all.

So don't do it... yet.

Just start writing.

Write about your idea. Write about your dream location. Write about the customers that you want to have, how much money you think you need and the people you want to work with. Write about the parts that you think suck- the employee manuals, the operating hours, or the cost of your inputs. Write about the parts that will be awesome- your profit, your goals, your expansion plans. Write about it all. Just get everything down on paper that's been floating in your head for too long. I call it a brain dump. Get all that stuff that you've been thinking about written down so you can organize it later. 

Will it be everything? Hell no. Will it be a start? Barely. What it will do is make the task of finding a template, reading how-to's and working through examples much easier. 

This way, you have a general idea of what you know and what you don't know. You'll get a better understanding of what needs to be researched, who you may need help from and how much time it may take you to get a plan finished. 

This knowledge will also make it easier to navigate the time-suck that is the internet and help you from becoming discouraged when you stumble on the tenth crappy template or 5th how-to that's all of 3 paragraphs long. 

One you do find a model that feels right (check back here soon for a good one) simply insert your brain-dump into the appropriate headings, and you've started your business plan! 

Congrats! 

Really. 

This is the hardest part... probably.