Chapter 6: The Business Plan

Introduction

You have researched your audience, written a value proposition, determined your revenue strategies and developed a business model canvas. Now it’s time to write a business plan.

What is it? A business plan is the story of how you plan to create and sustain the news organization you are starting. It shows funders that you’ve have carefully considered all of the key aspects of the business and how they work in concert to deliver on your value proposition, or “theory of change” as foundations call it. An effective business plan also

  • Helps you focus your ideas;
  • Creates an action plan for you to follow in the early stages of your business growth;
  • Creates benchmarks to measure progress;
  • Helps minimize risk and prevent financial losses.

Don’t be intimidated. Because you have completed a business model canvas, you already have a broad vision of what it will take to deliver your value proposition to your audience. You know the work you’ll have to do behind the scenes, what your key activities will cost, and your potential revenue streams. Business plans should not be excessively long or repetitious, but must convey that you have thought through all aspects of the business and understand the interdependencies.

Telling a story with numbers. Journalists know how to tell a compelling story, but may find it challenging to develop financial projections. It’s important to understand that the numbers are also telling your story and those numbers should match the narrative. We recommend that you utilize resources in your community to help with this aspect of the business plan. We included links to business resources that have offices in every state and U.S. territory.

A business plan takes time, it requires research, careful analysis, a solid value proposition and great storytelling. We’ve provided you with the tools and resources to create a solid plan for success. Dig in.

RESOURCES: America’s Small Business Development Centers, an association offering no-cost business consulting and low-cost business training
The Service Corps of Retired Executives