What’s the purpose of a business plan?
A business plan serves as your blueprint for how you will operate your business. Whilst it is likely that you will need to have a business plan in place when trying to attract investors or get a loan for your company, it is actually for your benefit. It provides a step-by-step guide as you start a new business or grow your current company, and it directs every decision you make going forward.
Why should I have a business plan?
Writing out your plan forces you to review everything at once: your value proposition, marketing assumptions, operations plan, financial plan and staffing plan. You’ll end up spotting connections you otherwise would have missed. Here are some of the reasons you need a business plan:
- An opportunity to test out a new idea to see if it holds real promise of success
- A clear statement of your business mission and vision
- Benchmarks you can use to track your performance and make midcourse corrections
- A clear-eyed analysis of your industry, including opportunities and threats
- A portrait of your potential customers and their buying behaviours
- A rundown of your major competitors and your strategies for facing them
- An honest assessment of your company’s strengths and weaknesses
- A roadmap and timetable for achieving your goals and objectives
- A description of the products and services you offer
- An explanation of your marketing strategies
- An analysis of your revenues, costs, and projected profits
- A description of your business model, or how you plan to make money and stay in business
- An action plan that anticipates potential detours or hurdles you may encounter
- A handbook for new employees describing who you are and what your company is all about
- A résumé you can use to introduce your business to suppliers, vendors, lenders, and others
When do I use a business plan?
A common misconception is that it is only used for new startups, however, they are a useful tool for established business that want to grow. They then become the business strategy. So whether it’s a business plan or strategy, the principles are the same, the document evolves and is continually referenced.
Here to help.
I regularly talk through business plans and provide valuable feedback to those wanting to move their business forward. I’m always pleased to have a preliminary and no obligation chat to find out about your business and your plans. I’d be happy to speak with you. https://dowlingbusinessmentor.co.uk/contact-chris-dowling-business-mentor/