By: Marianne Craig
Lots of people don’t like doing a business plan. It’s a daunting task- all these scary headings and forms to fill in. One great way to make a start is to mind map a business plan first. It’s like being a kid in art class again!
Get down on the floor Get some large sheets of blank flip chart paper or the back of a roll of wallpaper will do. Find chunky coloured marker pens. Sit at a big table or get down on the floor for this task.
Put a circle in the middle with your business in the centre. Then draw a line coming out of the circle in green and call that branch “marketing”. Draw a circle round. Do the same, using different colours for each branch: my skills and experience, products/services, finances, business objectives, my business vision and so on. You probably have some headings of your own. Or if you have a pro forma from a bank, you can use those headings. Then for each branch, staying with its own colour, draw lots of little branches off, giving each one its own name (use a keyword or symbol.) So for marketing, the little branches might be: press coverage, advertising, contacts, promotion, my marketing strategy, website etc. And for “finances”, branches will include projected income, projected capital expenditure, fees, bank loan etc.
Drawing a mind map is a bit of a brain dump and is a very creative process. Just bung down all your thoughts until you can‘t think of any more. Then go off for a coffee, come back and you’ll probably think of a few more ideas. Stick them down. If one branch becomes very crowded you can take a fresh piece of paper and do a separate mind map just for that heading.
Once you have done your own business plan as a mind map, you’ll find it much easier to write a full business plan. If you have loads of business ideas capturing them on a mind-map is fantastic. You can go on to do a mind map for each idea. And mind mapping is a great way to plan any aspect of your life, as well as being a useful technique to share with others. Mind mapping is a fabulous tool for studying, as an aide-memoir.
You can find out more as well as see lots of colourful examples of mind maps in The Mind Maps Book by Tony and Barry Buzan.
Source: Evan Carmichael