Where to Start?
Start at the beginning and focus on yourself first. Yes, that is right, your business plan is a tool to achieve the vision and purpose of the business, but your business is a vehicle to serve you and achieve your goals. So you need to be clear on what you want in the future so your business can work towards serving you and your goals. If your goals and if your partner’s goals do not align, it’s hard to align the business goals too and this is why you see many partnerships fail as they all want different things.
Imagine trying to pull a ship through water, with each partner in a tug boat pulling in different directions to their ideal destination, it’s hard to see the ship move let alone go anywhere. However, if they have a plan and work together they can ride the waves and navigate issues together to get to their destination.
Where are you Now?
Most business owners begin to wonder if they have missed something when they see their competition and other “winning” around them while they just seem to be in the same position. This is perfectly ok, if you’re just starting out or have been in business for years it can sometimes feel like you’re stuck in the spin cycle of busyness.
If you do what you have always done, you will get what you always have gotten. When we talk to the business owners we always identify that the key ingredient they have been missing is a clear plan. If you have failed to plan, your planning on failing, it really is that simple. Once owners get clear on their mission, vision and purpose it’s easier to make decisions and focus on what matters right now that is going to have an impact.
Building a business from scratch can be challenging, therefore, creating a business plan compels you to systematically think through every aspect of your business and develop a solid blueprint to follow.
A business plan will help you map your business strategy for the future and motivate you to reach your goals. It will help you anticipate obstacles and work out solutions for overcoming them, thereby reducing anxiety and stress.
Additionally, the process of writing a business plan will likely reveal the level of commitment you need to devote to your business.
What a business plan should include for an audience
Your plan should have a professional appearance and be clear and concise if you’re giving it to the bank or going for a government grant. These business plans usually take quite some time and work to get right for their specific audience. Some of the essential elements to cover in a business plan are:
- Executive summary – an overview
- Description of the business
- Product/service design & development
- Industry analysis
- Market analysis
- Marketing plan
- Management team & business structure
- Operations plan
- Legal and risk management plan
- Financial projections
Writing a plan covering all these areas may take substantial time and effort, but when your plan is complete, how much will you have learned in the process? How thoroughly will you know your business? How much more confidence will you have when you actually launch your business?
For these reasons, it is best to write the business plan yourself (or at least make an attempt), rather than employ someone to write it for you and you can be very specific for your audience. Of course, assistance in the form of books, websites and consultants is always available.
Unfortunately, we talk to business owners all the time and many have already created a plan like this only to find it still sitting in the desk draw and barely ever actioned or actionable. A business plan like this is usually required by banks and lenders when considering an application for a business loan. Approaching a lender without a plan, or with one that has been thrown together in haste, will likely make a poor impression or miss the mark to getting what you want from them.
The One Page Plan
While the banks might want more, a business owner needs to be able to keep it simple and make fast decisions to keep on track. When you want to ensure you’re maximising time and money you want to focus on what matters and fast. This is where the One Page Business Plan works best, to save time and stress in making decisions quickly.
Key ingredients ot a successful planning session with us.
- Discussing and setting both personal and business goals for the next 12 months
- Discussing and agreeing on an action plan with strategies to support the achievement of goals
- Identifying Gross Revenue Targets and Key Performance Indicators
- Identifying opportunities and vulnerabilities in your business that need to be managed
- Establishing a 90 Day Action Plan to address immediate critical issues
We will provide you with pre-work, which you will need to complete prior to the Business Planning session to ensure you identify any issues that need to be discussed. That way we can prepare any information required prior to the session.
A business plan also serves as a reference for monitoring the progress of your business against your objectives and performance standards.
Setting up your first budget or targets to working towards something bigger and better. Most of all it includes being clear on your Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) and what Key Performance Activities you can undertake to have an impact.
Preparing a plan may reveal that your idea is not feasible if you’re in the very early stages or working on the next shiny object. While this may be unfortunate, it is better to fail on paper rather than to start your business and realise the same thing! Most of all a clear plan can ensure you remain on track and maintain the focus on what matters to achieve your business and life goals.
Collate your information and have a go at writing a business plan! If you run into trouble, look online for helpful websites, speak to one of our consultants or ask other business owners for ideas for you next big project.
If your a current client or new client, we recommend booking in with us to take the next step to secure your personal and businesses financial future.