A business plan is a way of understanding how your business is put together and how it runs. It can be used for monitoring progress, controlling the future of your business, and as a sales tool for attracting future investors. It is a critical part of business success.
Still not convinced that you need one? Here are some specific reasons:
- To help you prioritise
Most business owners have a lot of goals and objectives for their company, but it can be hard to prioritise them when you’re so busy doing the day-to-day running of the business. With a business plan, you can work out the small steps and strategies you need to take to achieve long-term goals. You can decide what goals you would like to achieve, by when, and how you will do so. This will make it a lot easier to focus your efforts into exactly what you want and need to do, making you accomplish your goals, resulting in growing and developing your company.
- To help manage finances
A lot of businesses fail not because they are unprofitable, but because they become unable to pay their debts when they’re due. Careful management of cash flow is vital for all businesses – by making sales forecasts, you’ll be able to see if your business is succeeding or what the steps are that you need to take to make it succeed. A detailed business plan will have exactly what your expected incomings and outgoings are in given periods of time.
- To monitor the progress of your business
A business plan definitely isn’t something you just write up and store away somewhere – your plan should be your guide for monitoring your progress in most parts of your business. For example, you’ll be writing out the marketing tools and techniques that you use, and then every so often analysing what marketing techniques have been working and what needs to be altered. A business plan is something you continually develop and learn from and use for guidance.
- To map out the future
Your plan is vital in helping you manage your business in the future, not just in the start-up phase. By committing your thoughts into a document, you’ll be able to really understand your business and see exactly what actions need to be taken to improve or develop your business.
An effective plan has specific goals and objectives set alongside the timescale and resources needed to accomplish them. It’s easy to think of goals in our minds, but by having them specifically written in a plan, the goals are going to be a lot more achievable.
We’re hosting a Business Boot Camp workshop based on planning in business. For more information, click here.