Business planning is the key to success for any business no matter what the size. A business plan provides a clear guide on the direction you want to take things and can help keep you accountable to meet deliverables in order to reach growth. It’s important to put time and thought into planning along with carrying out research so you have the right information to hand, allowing the plan to be as accurate as possible which then allows your goals to be achievable. Below is an outline to guide you on what should be in your business plan, do note every business is different and there is no one size fits all approach but if you fail to plan you plan to fail as they say.
Summary: Have a one page snap shot that states your mission, vision for the business and purpose so you are really clear on where you stand.
Target market: Who do you target your product or service to and what do you know about them.
Competitors: Look at who your competition is what they do better/differently to you and what are the things you are doing better/differently to them.
Suppliers: Who do you need to deal with externally and what are these costs, how often do you need to use them etc.
Marketing: How are you going to promote who you are and what you do so your target market notices your business.
Operations: How are you going to run your business, what is the most efficient way to get the job done and who do you need on your team.
Financials: What is the budget for salaries, rent, expenses and so on and is there profit at the bottom line or do you need to refine things.
Future: What does your business look like in the future and what are the steps needed to reach that image you have in mind.
Review: Get a second set of eyes that are completely impartial to review your plan and share their advice and workshop any concerns or potential hurdles they see.