Having a plan at the outset is important to any new business owner, whatever the size of the company. It’s like the old adage: failing to plan is planning to fail. If you are not agree to write a business plan, here is the reason why you should write a business plan.
The pace of change in business is so fast now that unless you have aplan and a focus on executing the plan, you will simply be caught up and overtaken by competitors much quicker than a generation ago.
Paul oversees work with small and medium enterprises, from start-up companies to large family owned businesses.
Related: The Basics on How to Develop a Business Plan
“Mapping out a plan,” he says, “allows you to understand what it isyou are offering, who your target market is, and from there you can setfinancial goals.” In such a dynamic and fast changing market as the onemany businesses operate in today, a plan is also a useful tool indeciding what your organization won’t do as much as deciding what itwill do.
The best plans are simple and measurable and as your business growsyour plan will change. Paul suggests these five keys can help you build a business plan.
Also read: 10 Small Business Ideas to Startup Less Investment
Focus on growth: Don’t just survive, look at ways to prosper.
A lot of business owners who don’t have a plan effectivelystumble along, week by week, month by month; the focus is on survivalrather than making the most of the business.
A plan should include growth measures, expected return on investment, and sales targets along with other considerations specific for yourbusiness.
That’s really important because if you are investing your own capital or borrowing from the bank you want to know that you are getting a good return and to track progress.
Also read: 7 Tips to Writing a Perfect Business Plan
SWOT: Know your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
Understanding and being honest at what you are good and not so goodat is important to give you a realistic view of your opportunity and the gaps you need to be aware of.
Identifying those gaps can help you in recruiting staff. It also lets you assess the size of the opportunity, who your competition is, andwhat threats there are to you.
Execution is as important as planning: You are responsible for bringing the plan to life.
Sharing your business plan with staff can help in goal setting andensuring everyone understands what it is you are trying to achieve inthe business.
There should be a clear enough link between your strategy on paperand daily implementation that you understand what is critical tosupporting your goals and can priorities accordingly.
Also read: Tips To Develop a Successful Business Plan
Revisit and revise: At least once a year give the business plan a complete refresh and makeover.
There is no point in having a plan if you are going to put it in a drawer and only look at every now and then.
It’s really important that you sit down at least once a quarter andlook at the goals and measures and objectives, and track how you’regoing.
Learn from the best: As a business owneryou should lift your head up occasionally from the day-to-day work andlook at what is happening in the market and economy.
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Industry events, conferences, and training seminars can be really helpful.
Having a business mentor is a good idea, particularly if you’restarting out. You can get assistance from agencies like local councils,chambers of commerce, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and CallaghanInnovation.
You can also look at having an advisory board where you and someexperienced business people meet once a quarter to set goals to achieve, helping take the business forward.