You are Homer, Your Business Plan is The Odyssey - Alexis Carney

Guest Blogger: Alexis Larinda Carney

Alexis Larinda Carney is Deaf Child: a musician, freelance marketer, owner and business manager. She earned her Bachelor of Science from Loyola University New Orleans in Music Industry Studies and Business Administration. Her mission is to make music, bring people together, and support communities.

Why do myths survive for over thousands of years? The Hero’s Journey underlies the greatest stories ever told. For heroes there is a cycle between the ordinary world and the extraordinary world, referred to as the world of transformation. To get to the extraordinary world from the ordinary world, heroes must heed a call to adventure and find their guide. Crossing the threshold into the transformation world happens when accepting helpers and challengers into the innermost cave of desires, where heroes seize treasure to bring back into the ordinary world after conquering the supreme ordeal.

How is the Hero’s Journey relevant to your business plan? Hero is your prospect, the guide is your offering. Ordinary world is prospect’s life. World of transformation is where your business interacts with your hero. In the extraordinary world, your prospect takes action for your offering. The call to adventure is what leads a prospect to a business. Treasure is the benefit you provide a prospect. The supreme ordeal is what the hero needs to overcome before getting a benefit. Innermost cave is the place where whatever is blocking the hero is dealt with. If written epically, your business plan is the map your offering guides your hero to the treasure with.

Does your business plan stand out? You face three main challenges as a guide developing your map:

  • Addressability

    • You must be able to measure how easy it is to get in touch with your market.

    • Framing an attractive offer means understanding the alternative choices your customers have when buying from you.

  • Alternatives

    • Every action in business requires making a choice.

    • Think about the customer’s perspective to make decisions for your business valuable to them.

  • Attention

    • Modern life is overloaded with demand on your attention. Everyone has too many things to do, and too little time to do them all.

    • Capture attention for your effort with a headline to promote it.

Guides make it easier for Heroes to reach their destination, and maps ensure they always know where they are at on the journey. Secure funding for your adventure with a few points as a compass:

  • Hook

    • A single phrase or sentence that describes an offer's key benefit.

    • The reason someone would want what you're selling.

  • Target Driven Approach

    • Create a strong image of your brand in the minds of specific target markets.

    • Target market criteria: 1. Identifiability, 2. Size, 3. Accessibility, and 4. Responsiveness.

  • Executive Summary

    • A one-page overview of the key sections of a plan (vision, goals, strategies, allocation of costs, etc.).

    • Sums up why your business idea will be successful and qualifies whether or not your plan is worth reading.

Once upon a time, format and style might make or break a business plan. However, the biggest mistake is treating your brand as the hero. Do not develop narcissistic ideas that no one else cares about. Always treat your prospect as the hero and your business plan will satisfy their desires or problems.