Marketers, business coaches and lots of other experts (including me) talk ad infinitum about how you need to know who your Ideal Customer is in order to run a scalable and efficient business that makes you happy every day.
And yes, while just the thought of being able to work with your Ideal Customers every day might make you crap rainbows, you’ll never realize such a dream if you don’t connect the Ideal Client utopia to a business plan firmly rooted in reality.
With the exception of the plans that I write, I’ve never seen a business plan that clearly describes a business’s Ideal Customer. Ever. Yes, every plan talks about Target Markets and Market Segments and Customer Demographics, yet they all miss the most crucial customer details of all – the one perfect buyer who is at the center of all of this statistical analysis.
The customer at the center of the business, who is its beating heart.
And this, I believe, is one of the biggest reasons so many entrepreneurs never reference their business plan again after the bank has approved their loan.
Because all the stats, all the analysis, all the marketing-speak in the world don’t present any useful reminder of why you have this business, who you’re there to serve, and how your company will make people’s lives better.
If that isn’t discussed in your business plan, I don’t want to read it, either!
So – are you working on your business plan right now? Have you included a clear, concise picture of who your Ideal Customer is?
If not, do it now. So every time you go back and review your plan again (which I recommend you do four times a year!) you’ll be quickly reminded of who your business exists for.
And that’s the sort of thing that can keep your passion ignited.
That’s the sort of thing that makes a business plan useful, helpful and relevant.
That’s the sort of thing that will make a lender go “WOW! I get why you’re doing this.”
And that’s why business plans aren’t dead.