How to Make a Personal Business Plan

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A personal business plan can help you plot a path for your education, career and family. Developing a realistic, relevant plan will require you to consider options and determine whether the choices you have made are optimum, based on factors such as the economy, your abilities and your financial and personal goals. This article takes you through the steps necessary to access your needs, abilities and goals, and formulate your own personal business plan.

Write a personal business mission statement to begin your personal business plan. Your mission statement will encompass a statement of how you conduct your personal business as well as your vision of where you will be, in terms of your personal business life, in the next five to 20 years.

Write your personal goals, either on a spreadsheet or in a word processing document. Include career changes or advancements, education and family-related goals. For example, determine whether you want to pursue a degree or a higher degree, whether you want to add to your family or move to a new location at some point in the future. Think in terms of the next five to 20 years of your life.

Write your financial goals, either on a spreadsheet or word processing document. Include realistic goals such as paying off credit cards, buying a new house or paying off an existing mortgage. Your financial goals can involve increasing your salary or increasing your investments so that you will have enough savings to retire and remain financially stable.

Create two columns in your personal business plan to set up a time line for all of your goals. Short-term goals should be broken down into lists for the next six months, one year, two years and five years. Longer-term goals are broken down in five-year increments, for the next 10 to 20 years.

Conduct a brief self-assessment. Examine what you have done so far in your life in regard to education, business accomplishments and financial assets. Determine what are you capable of doing in the future, in terms of securing additional education, training or financial backing.

Determine what needs to be done to achieve your goals, using the information you created in Step 5. Decide whether you need to further your education. Examine whether your financial goals require training in financial management or securing the services of a professional financial planner. Add a column to your goals worksheet indicating what needs to be done to make your goals a reality.

Review your plan regularly to be sure you are adhering to it and to gauge whether your goals continue to be realistic. Change it as necessary to reflect changing economic times or readjusted personal business goals.

Tip

Refer to your personal business plan when you are faced with major decisions, such as whether to make an investment in real estate or the stock market. Your personal business plan can help you make rational decisions that are based on your established goals and current situation.

Warning

Do not place your personal business plan on a bookshelf and ignore it. Refer to it often, particularly when faced with life-changing decisions.

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About the Author

Pat Fontana began her career in 1981. Her extensive experience includes work in small business, entrepreneurship, marketing communications, adult education and training. She has written for Entrepreneur, Atlantic Publishing and other clients. Fontana earned a Master's degree in English with a concentration in Technical and Professional Communications from East Carolina University.