A business plan provides a road map of your objectives and the measures needed to get your business off the ground. Without one, you leave a lot of questions (from investors, banks, partners, third-parties, backers, etc.) unanswered.
Sometimes creating a business plan can be a challenging task. However, you should understand that it is a key necessity for any company or entrepreneur seeking to improve their chances of survival.
Here are 5 tips on how to develop a strategic business plan for your business.
1. Key Elements to Describe
Important description to be included in a business plan include; Executive Summary; Organizational Background (including vision and mission statements); Unique Selling Proposition along with a highlight of the main benefits; Market Analysis; Competition Analysis; Marketing Plan/Product Launch; Manpower Plan; and Financial Analysis (Sensitivity Analysis;
2. Be Specific
When creating your business plan, you need to be specific. Many times, you’ll have to think about what your business will look like in several years. You must make all your information as precise as you can. This includes setting deadlines for your goals. Procrastination is human, and you’re much more likely to take action if you’ve set a strict date for yourself and others to see.
3. Be Realistic
This is of the utmost importance. You have to be 100% realistic and honest when working on your business plan. If you’re not entirely convinced that you can increase your sales by 50% in the next 6 months, don’t tell your investors/banker/partner/employees that you’ll reach that goal.
It’s very tempting to toot your own horn and give the best-case scenario for everything, but it’ll only hurt you in the end. You’re better off saying you can increase your sales by 20%, and surpassing yourself than missing a target you set too high.
4. Make it Flexible
Your business plan is a “living” document that should evolve along with your business.
A certain portion of your plan is educated guess-work. As you realize that your assumptions are right or wrong, you should be able to adjust your plan if needed. If you see that the business model you’re defined isn’t working as well as you thought, don’t get stuck on that one just because you said so in your business plan.
You should be able to test another business model when needed — just update your business plan accordingly. In business, flexibility is key. There’s no shame in admitting that you’re wrong or that you made a mistake, as long as you’re willing to work and find a new solution to fix it.
5. Keep it short.
You need your strategy for success to be perused, however, people may find it exhausting if it’s too bulky. Hence, strategies for success ought to be short and brief.
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