Doing a business plan has many benefits beyond assisting with obtaining finance. It’s a great way to help you work out the goals you want to achieve and identify the best strategies to bring your goals to fruition.
In order for your small business to expand, become more profitable and be more competitive, the first thing you will need is a business plan.
A business plan will help you to:
- Get clear on your growth goals.
- See what’s working/not working in your business.
- Help you to prioritise.
- Create a clear financial plan to help you achieve your goals.
When creating a business plan with clients we sit down and develop a deep understanding of where their business is currently and their vision for the future.
We then initially put together a lean plan, which is a one-page overview or pitch which provides a simple and clear snapshot of the business.
The business plan is then developed to connect the dots and enable them to see a clear path forward and understand how to prioritise and make their goals a reality.
5 key things to include in a great business plan or lean plan are:
- The problem you are solving – understanding the need in the market is a key element to a successful business model. Truly defining what the gap or issue is that you are addressing is the cornerstone of a great business plan.
- Your solution – describing exactly how your business provides a solution to the problem. What do you do and how that fixes the problem identified.
- Your point of difference – one of the most important factors of a successful business is having a unique selling point, identify your competition and how you are different from what is already available. Why should people buy your products or services instead?
- Your target market – Who is it that benefits from your solution? Clearly defining your target customers will ensure you can narrow down your marketing strategy to be as effective as possible. For example, is it other businesses? Individuals? What are the key demographics?
- Your marketing strategy – incorporating a marketing plan that identifies the sales channels – where you are going to sell your goods and services? As well as the marketing activities you are going to undertake to promote your goods/services.
We utilise it is an ongoing and ever evolving tool that should be reviewed regularly to determine how your business is tracking against your goals and objectives and to assess what is working well and if there are strategies you need to change.
After going through the planning process business owners gain a feeling of direction, control and empowerment as well as a renewed sense of excitement.
If you need help building a business plan for your business get in touch today: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author: Amy Ryan, CEO of GreenStalk.