If you’ve ever asked yourself, “What is a Business Blueprint?”, I can assure you there are many different definitions and strategies for creating one. I want to share with you the blueprint that works for me in hopes it can also work for you.
There is a huge danger when you have too many business growth shortages where supply and demand is not regulated properly. When the business grows faster than the entrepreneur is responding, it creates a bottleneck of too much work, and an insufficient labor force to handle it. With this shortage, people get overwhelmed, frustrated, lose their social lives, and over a long period, they may give up.
Alternatively, when a business grows too slow and the entrepreneur has no plan to push the business growth forward, it also creates a bottleneck of piling expenses with insufficient cashflow to handle them. Vendors get upset, your reputation can be tarnished, and over a long period, your business could be shut down.
When I’m asked “What is a Business Blueprint?”, I respond by explaining how it’s the solution to bottlenecks that can exhaust the workers and cause the business to fail.
What is a Business Blueprint Definition?
When building a house, the blueprint is the strategic plan that tells the construction workers and their managers the logistic requirements to build the house, where each part of the facility will be placed, and helps them to maintain order as they build the house. Similarly, a business blueprint is a strategic plan that tells those operating the business the productivity requirements, the necessary jobs, the milestones, the targets, and the expected outcomes. A business blueprint is a plan for how you will strategically execute business.
Facts and Stats answering “What is a Business Blueprint?”
Palo Alto did a study that confirmed those who did a business plan were twice as likely to grow their businesses or secure capital. The study results showed:
2,877 people completed the survey. Of those, 995 had completed a plan.
- 297 of them (36%) secured a loan
- 280 of them (36%) secured investment capital
- 499 of them (64%) had grown their business
1,556 of the 2,877 had not yet completed their plan.
- 222 of them (18%) secured a loan
- 219 of them (18%) secured investment capital
- 501 of them (43%) had grown their business
- A business is not made successful by the plan alone, there also has to be a mentality that makes it work
- Business plans allow entrepreneurs to strategically work ON the business rather than solely working IN the business
- By planning, you make strategic goals that drive you closer to the vision, mission, and purpose of the business, and closer to your overall life plan
What a Business Blueprint is NOT
- A Business Blueprint is not the business
- It is not a guarantee the business will work
- It is not a way around the importance of people and mindset to make a business successful
- It is not simply verbiage written to appease lenders and investors
The business blueprint should be a composition of documents that tells about the idea you have for a business, how to manifest the idea, who will help you, and milestones on your way. There are several different business plan templates that help to bring clarity as you document key performance indicators that are necessary to make your business work.
Components of a Business Blueprint
For a business blueprint to be successful, you have to be clear about several things. The business blueprint is a document that gives the details about the money machine you’ve invented (the business), and how anyone can make it work. The business blueprint includes the Life Plan, the Organization Chart, the Position Contracts, the Job Prototypes, and the Business Plan.
Your Life Plan
Your Life Plan is the foundation of the business blueprint. The business is not your life, but it’s a vehicle you use to manifest components of your legacy–this is HUGE! The life plan “begins with the end in mind” as Stephen Covey would say by having you look at the most important things you want your life to say to the world, and sets milestones for how you can ensure the message and impact is left behind.
Businesses can be huge legacy vehicles to build leaders, cement relationships, transform limiting beliefs, change economic climates, and impact the world with solutions. If there’s no life plan, the business can become synonymous with the entrepreneur or become stigmatized as “work” only.
It can seem funny to complete an organization chart without having a sizeable organization, but the organization chart is a crucial component of planning before a bottleneck. When you do the organization chart before having an organization, it’s simply for planning and future thinking purposes, but it’s so important. You begin to think about what positions the business would need to operate with peak performance.
Of course, this organization chart will change as you gain more operational knowledge, but it’s important to plan to scale before growth, so you don’t feel “stuck” in a stockpile of work once the lead generation system matures.
You can write down positions and a brief description like:
Chief Operations Officer – Ensures the promises are kept to the customers. Provides direct oversight to Vice President/Marketing, Vice President/Finance, and Vice President/Operations.
Other common organizational positions are:
- Sales Manager
- Vice President/Marketing
- Vice President/Finance
- Vice President/Operations
- Customer Service
- Marketing Specialist (could be broken into several specifications)
- Sales Apprentice
- and so on…
In the beginning, the entrepreneur may wear all of the hats, but it’s important to distinguish what the hats are, so as the workload increases, you can decide which positions are most vital, present the new hire with the operations manual and accountability, replace yourself, and begin prototyping the next position.
Similar to a job description, a position contract tells you what tasks each position is responsible for, the quality standards, the expected outcomes, who they report to, how the position fits into the company mission and vision, and so on. Even while you are a small company and wear several of the positions, it’s still important to recognize what tasks you’re responsible for, consistently execute them, and document. Once your able to hire, you can take the work you’ve done to fill the position, and brief the new hire on where you left off and give them the operations manual.
As an entrepreneur who works ON the job, and not just IN the job, you should be documenting how you are doing each task necessary to make the business run. The compilation of documentation should be kept in your training manuals for your new hires. The operations manuals will enable you to provide instruction and accountability as a leader to the new hires. It will also stabilize consistent processes, so your customers know they can expect equivalent quality standards every time they return: regardless of who serves them.
The business plan should tell how your goals and outcomes you want to see to identify that your business systems are working. It should give details about your Lead Generation System, Lead Conversion System, your Leadership System, your Management System, and your Branding System.
To complete a Business Blueprint that can help to guide you in your business, you should follow these 7 steps:
1. Create your life plan
You can download this life plan template here, and use it to gain clarity for how you would like to live your life. It’s important to put the business in perspective and to understand how it plays into your life.
2. Take time to develop your vision, mission, and purpose statements
Your vision, mission, and purpose statements tell us:
Why you do what you do?
How you do what you do?
and, Where do you see this all going?
It’s very important for creating a viral culture. People want to know they are investing into something that’s bigger than a simple product or service transaction.
3. Complete your organization charts, job prototypes, and position contracts
Decide who you’ll need to make your business work and begin documenting the tasks they’ll need to perform and the standard you want to see.
4. Create your business plan
Whether a 1-page business plan or a 100-page business plan, it’s important to be clear about what you’re trying to do with your business, the experiments you’re doing, and their outcomes.
5. Compile it all neatly
You can use sheet protectors, binders, or a completely digital setup–whichever is most comfortable for you. You want to make sure the documents are neat, orderly, and positioned where you can continually reference them.
6. Keep it where you can look over it regularly
You can keep your documents in your home office or wherever it would be most convenient for you to look over them regularly.
7. Continually improve and update your documents
These documents are living documents, they require ongoing revisits and updates as you see what you’re capable of. You can challenge yourself and those in your organization, you should accept feedback, test, and modify.
Theses are some articles that go further in detail on some of the concepts mentioned in the post:
- How to Create a Job Prototype
- How to Create a Training Manual
- 7 Business Systems Every Business Must Have
- Why Most Small Businesses Fail
- 33 Questions that Will Grow Your Business
Last Words answering, “What is a Business Blueprint?”
The goal of this article was to answer the question “What is a Business Blueprint?”. A business blueprint can be very helpful to provide direction as a business grows. It also helps entrepreneurs to balance technical activities with strategic activities that enable them to grow successful businesses.
Now, it’s Your Turn…
Have you created a business blueprint? Have you created a business plan or something similar? Has it been helpful to you? Why or why not?