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How to Write a Sticky Note Business Plan

I LOVE the following post written by Christine Kloser, and can think of several of you who have been dreading writing a business plan…this is for you! If you’re like most creative entrepreneurs, the thought of writing a business plan is not the highest item on your priority list. You’d rather explore new ideas, create products and services, develop a new speech, or work with your clients than sit down and write a plan.

But, to be successful in business, you need to have a plan in place. The good news is you don’t have to write a formal (bank-friendly) business plan to keep your business on track. In fact, until recently, I used my self-made sticky note business plan to keep track of my business goals and plans.

The sticky note business plan is a simple and fun tool you can use anytime, any place to keep your business pointing in the right direction. Here are a few simple steps to get you started:

Gather Your Planning Supplies
Thankfully, you won’t need fancy computer software, or heavy reference books to write your plan. All you’ll need is a wall, six poster boards, three pads of sticky notes, scotch tape, a note pad, a Sharpie marker and a pen. It’ll also help to have a quiet place and a few hours of time to enjoy this process. You may even want to light your favorite candle and play some relaxing music.

Lay Out Your Plan
Tape the six poster boards up on the wall. Once the boards are up on the wall, grab your notepad. Sit down for a few minutes and quietly think about the aspects of your business you want to plan. For example: do you need to design a new product or event, do you want to create a marketing plan, do you need a timeline plan for the next 3 years of your business, is it time to plan the launch of a new service?

Use your notepad to collect all of your ideas and decide on the six main categories you want to include in your plan. Next, write each category on six separate sticky notes using your Sharpie marker. Then, stick one note on the top center of each poster board so each board is labeled for one of your six topics.

Download Your Ideas
Here comes the fun part. Get your pen and sticky notes and begin to write down every single idea that comes to mind for each category. Don’t edit or censor any ideas. Simple write them down and stick them on the poster board for that category. Try to say with one category at a time as best you can. But, if other ideas keep coming to mind, write them down and pop them on the appropriate poster. Let the ideas flow and enjoy the process of getting everything on paper.

Organize Your Ideas
So, now that your ideas are on the poster boards, begin to organize them. Look for themes, sequences, and categories of items. Physically move the sticky notes on the poster board to group ideas together. Sometimes I’ll organize ideas by timeline, sometimes I’ll organize by concept you can organize them in the way that makes sense to you.

Put It All Together
Now, step back and take a look at your whole plan. After going through this process, you may discover some items need to move higher on your priority list; while other ideas may need to be dropped from your plan completely. The right things to do (and the order in which to do them) will surface now that you have the whole plan in place. Next, rearrange the posters so the highest priority plan is at the left side of the wall and the lower priority plan is to the right side of the wall. Finally, transfer your highest priority tasks to your calendar to make sure you begin executing your plan.

Keep Going
As you make progress with your plan, continually re-evaluate where you are and keep moving forward with your projects. Personally, once I complete a concept from one of my poster boards, I remove the sticky notes so I can visually see my progress and all that I’m accomplishing. You may enjoy doing the same thing.

Now that you know how to write your sticky note business plan, you’ll discover it’s actually FUN to work on your plan. And, it’s a huge asset to your business.

Christine Kloser, The Conscious Business Coach” publishes the revolutionary ˜Conscious Business Connection ezine. If you want to learn proven business strategies boosted with Spiritual success principles, you’re in the right place. Get your FR^EE tips now at

2007 Christine Kloser

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28 Responses to “How to Write a Sticky Note Business Plan”

  1. Business Reference » Business Reference June 26, 2007 8:16 pm on June 26th, 2007 5:20 pm

    […] How to Write a Sticky Note Business Plan Thankfully, you won?t need fancy computer software, or heavy reference books to write your plan. All you?ll need is a wall, six poster boards, three pads of sticky notes, scotch tape, a note pad, a Sharpie marker and a pen. … […]

  2. Wendy Piersall on June 26th, 2007 5:29 pm

    Hey Christine, thanks for the great approach to business planning – I love the brainstorming-creative spin! :)

  3. Lisa Callsen on June 26th, 2007 5:57 pm

    It’s amazing! I know that even the larger manufacturing plants use a form of this in the plants. Thanks for the detailed way to getting us motiviated!

  4. Ashley Kelley on June 21st, 2008 12:21 am

    I think this is a wonderful idea! i dread having to write out a ten page business plan for my business and would love to think of anything that could possibly save some time and make things a lot less stressful than they need to be. Thanks for the idea. This has totally motivated me to start on my business and get a plan written out and organized :)

  5. startupprincess on June 21st, 2008 12:29 am

    Thanks Ashley for joining the conversation here, welcome to Startup Princess! Best of luck writing your sticky note business plan, love mine!

  6. Small Business Trends on July 10th, 2008 9:55 am

    More Entrepreneur Blogs, Especially for Women…

    One of the things I’m loving about today’s Web are the many excellent entrepreneur-run blogs that are resources for small business owners.
    Kelly Anderson of the blog Start-Up Princess recently compiled a list of recommended blogs for small …

  7. Joe on July 10th, 2008 11:24 am

    Sticky Note Business Plan … catchy. But doesn’t the entire business plan really live or die on the first paragraph. And what is the heart of the first paragraph of the business plan? For me it is defining the market need your business is filling and your competitive advantage in that market. Two stickies. If you can’t crystallized these two points in two stickies, then you don’t have the answers yet.

  8. Ashley Kelley on July 15th, 2008 9:07 am

    I just wanted to say that thank you for this idea/advice. I was assigned to write a 10page business plan for my entrepreneur class this week and I remember reading this article. I asked my professor if I could do my business plan a little differently and showed him this idea. It has worked out wonderful! Great idea. Thanks so much for sharing it :)


  9. Amanda Saha on July 29th, 2008 10:39 am

    This is a great way to make the task of writing a business plan much more creative. I am a visual learner- i like to see things in pictures. This is a great resource for me.

  10. The Start Up Princess: The Kelly King Anderson Interview | Carrie and Danielle on September 8th, 2008 12:01 am

    […] 2005 at a national MBA Business Plan competition. I also recommend this post by Christine Kloser, How to Create a Sticky Note Business Plan and here’s a fabulous podcast by Nancy Cadjan How to Transform an Idea into a […]

  11. Kevin Cullis on March 4th, 2009 11:08 pm

    Nice ideas to explore the possibility of starting up a business as well as moving to the next stage of actually doing it. Sweet.

    Kevin Culliss last blog post…Traveling Entrepreneur’s using tons of iPhone apps

  12. TOM HANZAS on April 16th, 2009 12:43 pm

    I love my stickies. They’re like my little yellow friends.

  13. Bill Bartmann on September 4th, 2009 7:30 pm

    Cool site, love the info.

  14. Business Plan Writers on September 25th, 2009 12:38 am

    This is great work and very good information on business planning. This post will really help beginners to learn about business planning, although it is basic but, it will help others a great deal in future.
    Thanks for such a nice informative ideas.

  15. Jenifer Mitchell on October 13th, 2009 10:46 am

    What a great idea! I have been so excited since finding that I have thousands of ideas flowing around in my head and I can’t keep up! What a great way to get everything together!
    Thanks, Jenifer – Cedar City, UT
    .-= Jenifer Mitchell´s last blog ..Threadless Tshirt Giveaway at =-.

  16. Dave Lavinsky on December 11th, 2009 9:27 am

    Interesting approach! If you don’t have the space on your wall, then I would suggest using a tool like It’s a free mind mapping program and you can save/edit your progress as you go. I use to start brainstorming new business ideas and i find it very helpful to organize my thoughts.

    For my number #1 secret to writing successful business plans, go to:
    .-= Dave Lavinsky´s last blog ..7 Secrets to Raising Capital =-.

  17. Canada Business Plans on December 27th, 2009 11:28 am

    Thanks! Very interesting and amusing post on business plan. I read it with great pleasure.
    .-= Canada Business Plans´s last blog ..I use my computer to create landscape projects for my wholesale landscape business in Canada, why can’t I make my own plan? =-.

  18. Customer Service Chat on January 7th, 2010 4:36 am

    It was a very nice article! Just want to say thank you for the information you have shared. Just continue writing this kind of post. Thanks.

    Customer Service Chat

  19. kiramatali shah on January 26th, 2010 9:49 pm

    According to the study, the most important tool for small businesses to succeed in 2010 is search engine marketing, while email marketing, public relations and social media cited as crucial for success.

  20. loans on January 29th, 2010 4:37 am

    It has been a hard job to find such informative and important tags from net. I went through your post, which made me update about online marketing products. I’ve been concerned with these all, since so long and doing work for my friend to promote his online business.

  21. ridwanzero on February 2nd, 2010 3:29 am

    The Center for Media Research has released a study by Vertical Response that shows just where many of these ‘Main Street’ players are going with their online dollars. The big winners: e-mail and social media. With only 3.8% of small business folks NOT planning on using e-mail marketing and with social media carrying the perception of being free (which they so rudely discover it is far from free) this should make some in the banner and search crowd a little wary.

  22. henrylow on February 3rd, 2010 9:41 pm

    Often we forget the little guy, the SMB, in our discussions of the comings and goings of the Internet marketing industry. Sure there are times like this when a report surfaces talking about their issues and concerns but, for the most part, we like to talk about big brands and how they do the Internet marketing thing well or not so well.

  23. zee on March 12th, 2010 8:55 am

    What a great idea! Writing down notes always works for me, especially when I’m brainstorming marketing ideas for our eco-clothing line and blog! I usually just type them in my computer notepad, but there’s nothing like actually writing them down using your pen and a notebook. i never thought of sticky notes! this is an awesome idea — i love the part where you can look at your board and move your ideas around PHYSICALLY. i think this is way, way more effective than simply writing them down! thanks. I will have to buy sticky notes first! :)

  24. » Starting 2011 with a Purpose on December 28th, 2010 7:53 am

    […] Kloser wrote a blog post with instructions for putting together a Sticky Note Business Plan. I love the concept and have used the process for setting many goals – it is visual – […]

  25. Business Plan Experts on March 22nd, 2011 1:55 am

    Our business plan experts practice updated methodology to provide you the best business plan. B-Plan Experts business plan consultants provide effective business strategy for entrepreneurs and businesses.

  26. Taking Time to Plan | Busy Bee Virtual Assistance on May 29th, 2011 9:40 pm

    […] using the sticky note business plan method, since I’m not writing this to obtain funding, but to define my goals.  I like it […]

  27. Leann Wilder on March 8th, 2012 5:38 pm

    This was written and posted for me-I am struggling with this part of the process and would rather do lots of other tasks instead! This will so help a short attention span gal like me stay on track! Can’t wait to get started!!! Thank You Christine Kloser and Start up Princess!

  28. Jhen on November 12th, 2012 12:24 am

    I love sticky notes and I also love planning.. Business is what i want to have.. So, i thank you a lot for your realistic tips!

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