If you’ve been in business for even a day, you know your business plan is the most important document you will ever create. Your plan sets the course for your future by identifying your company’s core values, key strengths, and key areas of opportunity. It outlines the actions you plan to take to achieve success and what resources you will need to execute. If you’ve been in business for any period, chances are you have experienced the feeling of déjà vu. You know that dreaded feeling when all of the plans start moving in different directions, leaving you uncertain of where or how things are going to turn out for your business. And it’s true for nearly every small business owner — whether you’re an independent operator or an established enterprise with staff, equipment, and locations throughout the world.
You, Will, Determine Your Company’s Scale, Sustainability, and Long-Term Growth.
A good business plan will serve as the foundation for all your future planning. It will set out the goals and metrics you will use to determine if your business is a success. The first and foremost thing your business plan will determine if your company’s scale. How many customers will you be dealing with, and how much will you be selling to them? What is your product or service offering? These are all important factors to determine your scale. Another thing your business plan will determine if your company’s sustainability. How much revenue can your business realistically expect to generate over the long term? What will be your level of expenses? How much profit will be left after full and proper expenses have been paid? The sustainability of your business is essential to its long-term success.
You, Will, Determine Your Management Style and People Capabilities.
A business plan is essentially a business plan for yourself. You need to choose the management style and people capabilities that are right for your business. If you are an established enterprise with a well-proven track record, it is probably best to hire an outside professional to help you draft your business plan. However, if you are a brand-new entrant into an existing market segment, you will have to determine what kind of management style and people capabilities are right for your company. First, identify the key management and leadership teams within your company. What are their strengths and weaknesses? How well do they work as a team? This important knowledge will help you shape your management style and people capabilities.
You, Will, Set Out your Objectives and measurable outcomes.
Your business plan should set out your key objectives for the year ahead. What are you trying to achieve for the financial year? What is your target market, and what are your key competitors in the region or industry? Why do you think you will be successful in this regard? This is the meat of your business plan. It is what will get you to the next level. If you have only laid the foundation for your business, it is important to know what you want to build upon. Your goals need to be measurable. If your goal is to increase your revenue by 5%, you need to be able to tell how much that will increase and by how much. Your goals should not be ambitious. You do not need to plan to be a multi-millionaire or even a billionaire.
You, Will, Define Your Channels of Distribution.
Choosing the right channels of distribution for your product or service is an essential part of your business plan. It will help you determine where you want to market and will also help you decide whether you should go into the middle market or a large retail store. For example, if your product is a subscription service, you will want to decide whether you would prefer to have it available only to customers who subscribe to your service or if you would like to have it available to everyone.
You, Will, Decide On your manufacturing strategy (flexibility, cost considerations).
Manufacturers have different production rates, lead times, and shipping constraints that impact the overall cost of products. It is important to carefully examine these factors before making a final decision. The cost of materials will affect the price of almost every product you sell. The cost of labor will determine how long it takes your employees to create your products. The cost of your rent or mortgage will determine how much you can invest in your business and how long you will be able to remain in business.
You will Decide On your Marketing Strategy (ROI, targeting).
If you are in doubt about how to commit resources towards marketing your business, you should probably not be in the marketing business in the first place. Of course, if marketing is your thing, then, by all means, go for it. But if not, you will need to decide on an overall marketing strategy for your business. What is your plan? Where will you focus your efforts? What will be your main goal? Mark your goals and make a plan to hit them.
You will Decide On your Technology Strategy (infrastructure, tools, and platforms).
A business plan is essentially a business plan for your company. It needs to outline the growth and expansion of your infrastructure, tools, and platforms. It should also outline your plans for growth and expansion in the long term. If you are a software company, one of your first tasks will be to decide on the best way to upgrade your existing software to take advantage of new technology. Technology is always changing, and it can be difficult to keep up with the latest and greatest trends. If you are unsure of how to position your business concerning technology, you should probably not be in the technology business in the first place.
A business plan is simply a written document that describes your business, growth, and finances. It outlines the goals, objectives, and measurable outcomes you will use to determine if your business is a success. Your business plan is the basis for any plans you make. It will help you determine if your company is a success or not. It will help you decide whether you should expand or close down and tell all your customers how their order was processed.