What’s the value of a Business Plan?
The term is not intended to freak you out. It’s simply a map to help you articulate where you are and where you are headed so that you can walk confidently into your business knowing your business is likely to be profitable for you.
Effective planning is an essential business skill. Over-planning is a waste of time, but like most things in life, it’s about achieving balance.
If you’re thinking of starting a business, an idea is what often gets investors interested. A business plan, however, is crucial to get financial support for your vision because it shows that you have thought through an idea clearly and aren’t just winging it.
The simple act of writing down your idea and outlining how the business will operate can be helpful to ensure that you communicate your vision and that everyone is on the same page. It also helps you benchmark and check your progress as your business grows.
It’s never too late to consider mapping out a business plan- regardless of how many years into your business you already are! Your business plan should be clear and provide a roadmap for your company. Without a plan, you’ll find it more difficult to communicate your vision and see a path to growth.
Here are five other business plan writing tips considered helpful:
1. Map out your situation at present:
Be honest and realistic. Are you starting out with capital or do you need to raise it with finance or investors? Consider challenges and opportunities. If you’ve got a strong idea, let it stand on its merit. Be conservative in your projections of profit and growth.
2. Map out in detail the path to achieving your business goals:
This can be achieved via detailed sub-strategies and/or ‘Action Plans.’ Outline what the outcomes should be, appropriate time frames and priorities for achieving them. Make sure you outline budget projections and financial models.
3.Include a Marketing plan:
Outline your marketing analysis of the industry you are entering, your customers and your competitors. This section should also cover your key marketing targets and your strategies for delivering on these targets.
4. Do not attempt to complete your business plan from start to finish.
First decide which sections are relevant for your business and set aside the sections that don’t apply. You can always go back to the other sections later. Get some help – If you aren’t confident in completing the plan yourself, you can enlist the help of a professional (i.e. Business Enterprise Centre, business adviser, or accountant) to look through your plan and provide you with advice.
It is also important to keep on track by reviewing your progress against your plans and addressing any issues that may arise. Effective planning is an essential business skill. Over-planning is a waste of time. Like most things in life, it’s about getting the balance right!
For more information, free templates and downloads jump over to the Australian Government Business Site or see Jade Weller at the service studio for information in person.