Anyone can start a business, but it takes planning, preparation, and dedication to succeed in it. That’s where your business plan comes in. A business plan is a vital, living document that will give you the structure of your business.

Today on Women in Business, I’m explaining what the role of a business plan is. Why you should have one and what elements you should include in it. But rest assured, business plans are adaptable, to an extent. They serve as a living guide to where your business is going.

Especially when you’re going to approach potential investors or mentors, having a business plan lets them see that you’re serious and mean business. A business plan gives these mentors an important look into your vision for the future. And with your mission statement, they, and you will have something to consistently strive towards.

Your business plan will also focus on who your target audience is. It’s easy to want your target audience to be everyone, however, you’ll find that when you narrow your audience down and pinpoint exactly what type of businesses or people is your ideal, you’ll get more business.

Putting your base rate of pay in your business plan is also a good practice. Not only will this figure keep you right in terms of what to charge your first customers, but it will also help you with future financial projections.

You should also examine what your competitors are doing and include this analysis in your business plan. This lets you see what they’ve been doing well and what’s getting results, and what’s not. You can include these insights into your marketing plan.

Lastly, you’ll want to think about what your long-term role in the business will be. Will you be the sole employee for the foreseeable future? Do you plan to outsource a lot of work as you grow? Maybe you have plans to stop working in your business to focus on working on it.

Have you thought about your business plan? Do you know what your mission statement is? How are your competitors marketing themselves?

In This Episode:

  • What role a business plan has when starting your own business
  • Why you should plan early, with gaps in what you want to do, rather than dive in without anything written down
  • What your mission statement should consist of
  • Why it’s so important for you to narrow your target audience
  • How to figure out a base rate for pricing your services
  • Why you need to look at your competitors in order to see how your business is set apart
  • What your role in your business will be long-term



“Your business plan is the skeleton of your business. It gives you an overview of what you’re going to be doing, so you can start to fill in the gaps.” ([6:04])

“Always keep in mind how much you are worth and don’t undersell yourself.” ([13:51])

“If you are living with caviar taste on a bologna budget, we’ve got some issues. And it’s going to be extremely hard to get your business off the ground.” ([15:32])

“You will never scale if you don’t empower your people to do what they’ve been hired to do.” ([20:57])



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Are you a female millennial entrepreneur who wants to start or scale your service-based business but not sure where to start? Go to to get your free copy of the 10 Secrets Female Millennial Entrepreneurs must know before launching their service-based business. Get your free copy now!

About Dr. Cortney Baker… She is an award-winning entrepreneur, researcher, author, speaker, and an advocate for gender equality. As a leadership expert and mother of three, she is passionate about inspiring and empowering women to lead with greatness.

Dr. Baker is the author of the best-selling books: The Ten Do's and Don'ts for Business Leadership: Lessons to Lead Effectively and Unlimited: Conquering the Myth of the Glass Ceiling. She is passionate about helping ambitious female millennial entrepreneurs go from side-hustle to CEOs!

Feedback? Questions? Comments? For more information or to reserve Dr. Cortney Baker to speak at an upcoming event, please contact her at: [email protected] or 1-469-708-8840.