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Your Business Plan is simply your road map to success. It can come in many forms and yes, it can even be on the back of a napkin or on one page.
The form is not as important as the thought and discussions that went into preparing the plan. Your business plan is your map of your chosen market, how you intend to compete effectively in your chosen market and how you intend to leave your competitors behind you. Your business plan allows you to always focus on what is important, not to be distracted, to communicate succinctly with everyone involved in your business and to drive the success of your business.
In today’s highly competitive market, your ability to think and act strategically will determine the success of your business. Your business plan is critical to help you do this.
What does a Business plan include?
1. The History of the business, recognizing what has made it the business it is today and how these events may influence its ability to compete effectively in the future
2. Strategic Analysis and Thinking about the market in which you have chosen to compete and how you will position your business. This includes consideration of:
· the marketplace, its characteristics and factors influencing it
· your competitors and where it is best to position your business to deliver greater value to your customers.
3. Your Organization, its vision, values, culture and structure so as to ensure it is capable of delivering the customer value proposition you have developed.
4. The Future, the growth opportunities you have identified and the impact of various scenarios on your performance.
5. Financial Validation and ensuring the expected financial returns are acceptable and achievable.
6. Risk Mitigation and understanding clearly the risks involved in the business strategy and developing mitigation strategies (contingency plans)
7. Implementation and understanding what it will take to make it happen and deliver your strategy. This includes a Goal Achievement Plan which maps out the actions and steps to be taken, their timing and the outcomes to be delivered.
Now you may be thinking that your business is too small to go into so much effort. Not true. No matter how large or small your business is, the questions remain the same, it is only the complexity in the answer that may change.
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