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One thing I know about myself: I like circles 🙂 I draw them in my notebooks constantly, to frame or communicate different ideas. Maybe it’s related to Buddhism (“everything is interconnected”), or the circle of life, or…

As I mentioned before, I personally can’t do classic business plans, so I often find myself coming up with new templates or designs to make a business plan that I can use.

It ain’t pretty (yet)

…but I have a sketch for a “Visual Business Plan” that is actually circular, not linear:

Each pie piece is a major foundation of the business. For example, I mapped out on here four core PebbleStorm foundations: writing, community, business mashups and “practice” (the experiences, learning and results that come from actually living the system.)

One of the biggest differences in this plan, compared to a classic plan, is that there is no specific time line. I will add some rough time estimates in as rings (like tree rings). There is, more importantly, a logical progression of small projects and goals that lead to larger ones, like stepping stones.

The inspiration came to me during the first PebbleStorm dinner, when Alisa Chompupong suggested using a water drop pattern to map out a vision board, with yourself in the center and ever-expanding goals propagating outwards. Here’s one of the pictures she found:

I’m excited to play and explore with this idea and format!

UPDATE: Seen the new version of the visual business plan?

A Visual Business Plan v2.0 (Updated w/Video)

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6 Responses to “A visual/circular business plan”

  1. Hong-Anh Ha Says:

    I love this format too! It totally works 🙂

    aaronross383 Reply:

    @Hong-Anh Ha, I just added ‘threaded comments’ to the PebbleStorm blog, so now I can respond to you directly on here!

  2. garry Says:

    amazing it,s so clear a fresh idea thanks

  3. Kevin Donaldson Says:

    I just got introduced to your work and the pebblestorm concept. Looking forward to digging into it more. While reading this post – I found myself smiling. Last summer at almost the same time of this post, I came to the same conclusion as you with your circular model. In my case it was with creating a product roadmap. It finally made its way into a blog post in August 🙂

    aaronross383 Reply:

    @Kevin Donaldson, glad to hear it brought you a smile! And I really like your solar system analogy too. Cool stuff. Thank you for the kind words and comment!

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