When do I know my hobby is a business, and at what point should I have a business plan?

The moment you decided to make a profit! The sooner you can have a business plan, the better off you will be as your business moves forward. Business plans get a bad wrap, and they seem really scary and like something that is only for large companies. But it is the opposite of that. It doesn’t have to be big and scary, and it is more critical for small businesses.

A business plan is really just the act of thinking through some of the critical things about your business and getting it down on paper, so when you have to make decisions about things, you have most likely already given some thought to the topics. When I teach business planning with the Our Success Group Community, we always cover five basic areas:

  • Your “why”
  • The people involved
  • Goals
  • Marketing
  • Budgets/measurements

The people that had a plan were the ones who managed the best through COVID-19 or any other obstacles, so taking the time to work on your business, not in your business, is essential to success. I challenge you to devote at least 15% of the time you spend on your business each week to working on your business, not in it, like business planning, policy refining, market research, getting your costs and pricing sorted, doing budgets and tracking actuals, etc.

Learn more: Find some insight into building a screen-printing business plan here.

Editor’s note: These and other questions are answered and discussed by Todd Downing and Aaron Montgomery of Our Success Group regularly as a way to continue to commune with the OSG family during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can find these fun live videos called Q&A With Todd and Aaron over at several times a week.

Aaron Montgomery 2019

Aaron Montgomery

Aaron Montgomery is the co-founder of Its goal is to help 1,000+ businesses in 2020 reach their idea of success through training, community, and accountability. Aaron has 25+ years of experience with personalized products and small business development. You can also find Aaron co-hosting 2 Regular Guys podcast ( He also has his own podcast channel and produces weekly live videos called Small Business Saturdays Series. New episodes are released

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