How to Write a Business Plan that Won’t Break the Bank

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Business Plan

Female founder with a vision? Kick off the year with a solid business plan. The time is ripe for you to make this your year to blaze a trail and turn those business dreams into reality. 

It’s inspiring to see more and more female founders owning the entrepreneurial scene. And since you’re reading this blog, we’re betting you hope to one day be among them, if you’re not already. The thing is, traditional business models often scream “big investments.” But as women continue to face challenges when it comes to funding, what’s a girl to do to bring an idea to life? 

One thing we can learn from Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran is that a business doesn’t always require a herculean effort in funding to get started. After all, she was able to turn a $1,000 loan into a $100 million empire. It all starts with a method that doesn’t break the bank and lets you kick off your business journey without the financial drama…

Enter the Lean Startup

Even the smallest idea can grow into a massive success. Stories like Dropbox, Uber, Spotify, and Airbnb remind us that groundbreaking ideas can sprout from the simplest premises. Starting lean and charting your growth potential in your business plan could just be what you need to revolutionize your startup game. Think focusing on getting the ball rolling for your new venture with the basics and growing it from there. 

At Selfmade, we understand that no two business ideas are exactly the same. That’s why we’re not here to give you a generic business plan template. Let’s take a closer look at Airbnb’s journey to help you gain more insight into how you can create a business plan that shines the light on your unique entrepreneurial venture without having to shell out the big bucks.

Elements of a Business Plan

  1. Executive Summary

In 2008, Airbnb, founded by Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, emerged as a disruptor in the hospitality industry. Offering a platform for alternative accommodations, they literally started by offering to host a place to sleep inside their home on an air mattress. Airbnb’s simple premise later skyrocketed to success, showcasing the power of an innovative business model.

  1. Business Description

Airbnb’s mission was simple yet powerful: To connect people looking for unique travel experiences with hosts offering one-of-a-kind stays. Starting in San Francisco, the platform now operates globally, having revolutionized the way people think about travel and lodging.

  1. Market Analysis

What problem does your product or service solve? The founders recognized a gap during events and conferences when affordable lodging was scarce. They seized this opportunity, transforming the hospitality landscape by creating a community-driven platform that caters to diverse traveler needs.

  1. SWOT Analysis

Airbnb was up against a very established hospitality industry. With a thorough SWOT analysis, they were able to leverage the blend of technology, community, and hospitality and come up with an organizational structure that has Brian Chesky leading the charge as CEO and Joe Gebbia focusing on product design.

  1. Products or Services

Airbnb started with an MVP (minimum viable product) – a simple website and some air mattresses. These later evolved into a global platform connecting millions of hosts and travelers. Their services expanded to include unique homes, experiences, and even adventures.

  1. Marketing and Sales Strategy

Targeting travelers seeking authenticity and hosts eager to share their spaces, Airbnb employed a unique marketing strategy where word of mouth, referral programs, and user-generated content became powerful tools, creating a community around the brand.

  1. Funding Request (if applicable)

Airbnb’s early funding rounds saw investments from venture capitalists who believed in the disruptive potential of their business model. Over time, they secured substantial funding, enabling global expansion and innovative features.

  1. Financial Projections

Initially starting with modest revenue, Airbnb’s financial projections expanded exponentially as its user base grew. The company’s income statements, cash flow statements, and balance sheets reflected the successful scaling of its business model.

Your Entrepreneurial Adventure Awaits

The Lean Startup method isn’t just a fancy term; it’s your ticket to a wild but incredibly rewarding journey. As a female founder kickstarting your year with a new venture, start with turning your business idea into a Minimum Viable Product, and transform those dreams into reality from there! 

The best part? You don’t have to go it alone. We know how scary it can be to dive into entrepreneurship and not have all the answers or know if you’re on the right track – and we’ve got your back. Try Selfmade today and be part of a supportive community of female founders who can provide the guidance and reassurance you need as you embark on your founder’s journey. From helpful tips and eye-opening insights shared by experienced thought leaders to keep your finger on the pulse of the latest market trends and groundbreaking concepts and innovation, we’re dedicated to helping each other learn and grow. 

Your entrepreneurial adventure is waiting—let’s make 2024 your year to shine!

January 13, 2024

Brit Morin