My Triberr friend Laurinda Shaver publish an interesting post “My assumptions questioned. Daily.“ regarding business plan’s dilemmas.
I decided to get a deeper into how to build business plan – not any business plan but good one. First reaction: I can’t do that, that’s too complicated but the bigger problem was –> where should I start? How to embrace everything and not forget about important factors? And at the same time how not to lost yourself along the way?
Lets start from Wikipedia definition of business plan:
A business plan is a formal statement of a set of business goals, the reasons why they are believed attainable, and the plan for reaching those goals. It may also contain background information about the organization or team attempting to reach those goals.
Business Plan is a road-map to the future. Well written business plan is a dynamic, evolving, living document. Business Plan is one of the steps to entrepreneurship:
idea –> research –> business plan –> funding –> start up –> money
11 steps of typical business plan:
- title page –> don’t forget to add contact details
- table of content
- business description, service/product description
- business model –> how will your company make money? Mission – your reason for being/Vision – what you strive to accomplish/Values – all principles that guide you
- market analysis + your competition + your customer –> you need to know who is your direct competitor and who is your client. Do you know what your customer want? Who is your customer? Where to reach them?
- marketing, target, sales strategy
- organization –> management strategy, operational plan (how, when, what, where will do)
- goals and objectives –> details regarding your goals. What do you expect to accomplish + how you will measure your goals.
- financial planning –> where you will get the money for your business? etc.
- action steps –> time frames
- executive summary –> it’s your “business plan elevator speech”. Just few pages of summary
We need a business plan to validate whether all the money, time and efforts we want to invest in our business will give us any return from investment. Well, I really would like to do such analysis before I start investing my money or time.
While creating business plan don’t forget to ask yourself few questions:
- Why you?
- why your business?
- What benefits will your customer get choosing your business?
- What should your customer remember about your business?
- What is your image/brand?
- What kind of relationship do you want to build with your customer?
Every time when you think “business plan” think also SWOT analysis. What’s SWOT? It’s a strategic planning method used to evaluate:
- Strengths –> internal characteristics of the business or team that give it an advantage over others in the industry
- Weaknesses –> internal are characteristics that place the firm at a disadvantage relative to others
- Opportunities –> external chances to make greater sales or profits in the environment.
- Threats –> external elements in the environment that could cause trouble for the business.
involved in a project or in a business venture
SWOT Analysis youtube video (10min):
Few additional links you might find useful:
- business plan template at SCORE
- Business Owner’s ToolKit –> total know-how for small businesses
- SWOT analysis –> MindTools and businessballs
- The U.S. Small Business Administration