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?
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 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.
What kind of techniques do you use to find new connections?
Lets start from the definition of Social Network from Wikipedia
A social network is a social structure made up of individuals (or organizations) called “nodes”, which are tied (connected) by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as friendship, kinship, common interest, financial exchange, dislike, or relationships of beliefs, knowledge or prestige.
Social network analysis examines the structure of relationships between social entities. These entities are often persons, but may also be groups, organizations, nation states, web sites, scholarly publications.
Business networking is a socioeconomic activity by which groups of like-minded businesspeople recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities. A business network is a type of social network whose reason for existing is business activity.
Kelley’s premise is that networking is about an exchange of favors. You earn your way into a network by doing favors for those in the network, and eventually the people in your network will do favors for you.
I really like this part because it makes me think that making new connections/meeting new people it’s about exchanging knowledge/information/etc.
Making new connections I should ask myself: what can I give to the person I meet? How will they remember me and how will I remember them?. And asking myself those questions I think it’s a good start for smart networking and not just networking.
I created a 3 steps smart networking guide:
why? –> why I want to meet that person?
what? –> what can I give them? + what can I get?
what’s next? –> how I will keep that connection active?
After I ask myself those questions – it’s not that easy to just send another Linkedin/Twitter/Facebook invitation. I don’t have thousands of followers/connections but I try to work on what I have and working on it takes more time and efforts than ‘click and go’.
Maybe it’s time for quality and not quantity? Well, everything depends on the social media and networking strategy you have, right?