Is a Visual Business Plan Right for You?

Indiemark is an email marketing agency, and my third business venture. My first two endeavors started slowly, grew organically, and luckily both of which ended with a Big Bang. Now that the economy has turned the corner, Indiemark seems to be on the same course.

Until now, I’ve started (but never finished) dozens of classic business plans. You know…the 25 page text-rich variety. I suppose it’s because I’m too right-brained or too impatient or both. So I usually just wing it with a “business outline”, but secretly wish I had taken the time to map out my long and short term strategies in greater detail.

So this time I’ve drafted a visual business plan.

Below you’ll find the paired-down version. It also comes with a companion Tactical Guide, which is not found here. It’s too juicy.

Visual Business Plan

Please…tell me what you think!

6 Comments

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    I agree – this is a fantastic idea, as long as it’s accompanied by more “juicy” details (as you call it). It doesn’t matter who you’re targeting (e.g. venture capitalists, angels, banks, potential employees, etc), people are visual and, I believe, really appreciate creativity in expressing traditional types of content (e.g. business plans). Nice work, Scott! 😀

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    I share your objective of getting business plans short enough to be useful. 25 pages? No one will ever read. 1 page? It will be pinned next to everyone’s monitor and considered often.

    That said, I don’t think this example works. I REALLY like that it defines an ecosystem of stakeholders, each with different needs and behaviors. However, it stays at too high a level. It’s more of a snapshot than a plan, too much the What and Who, not enough of the How.

    An effective business plan – and it can be done in one or two pages – should connect high level mission and goals with specific tactics and actions. You’ve challenged my thinking by including such a rich discussion of Who, but in the end, I don’t feel you’ve gone far enough to make this actionable.

    Would love to keep discussing!

    m p friedman
    [email protected]

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    @mark You’re right. This visual aide only serves to provide our team with (and remind us of) the lay of the land, or Universe as it were. What’s missing are our goals, tasks, and benchmarks. Those live in a companion three-ring binder labeled as ‘Tactical Operations’. It too is comprised of text/graphic and is very concise, but more editable and adaptable.

    @Katie and @Dave Thanks for the kind words. I’ve really enjoyed and benefited from this process. Plus, it was kind of fun.

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    If nothing else that has got me thinking. I’m new to the business plan thing and was having a heck of a time finishing a standard Bp. This is something that I can do though, something that should help break down the barriers that I seem to have built up around planning for a “typical” business. Especially when that is not what I want to have.

    Thank you for sharing.
    Jeremy

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