What's Your Plan
You probably already have a business plan or at least know you should. The goal of a business plan is to help business leaders stay on track and achieve their goals, but if you don't review it, it doesn't’t help. Many business leaders create a business plan but rarely, if ever, review or revise it. Most plans sit on a shelf until a lender asks to see it (and I wonder how many lenders ever really read them). Would you want a lender to see what’s in your business plan? Do you even remember what’s in it?
Writing a business plan can be beneficial for challenging our assumptions, setting realistic goals, and staying focused on what we want to accomplish. Usually when a company has one, their marketing messages are clearer, their audience targeting is more refined, and their marketing costs are lower than for companies that have no plan. So the plan does provide several significant benefits.
Creating a business plan requires some data, and there are ways to get reliable data without spending a lot of money. Some are better than others. Making decisions about your business based on the opinions of friends and family can be a mistake because they are likely to tell us what they think we want to hear instead of what we really need to hear. Especially today, with the wealth of information available to us at the click of a mouse, it is advisable to use data that comes from reliable trustworthy sources when writing a business plan.
The plan should provide a framework for building your business, with a defined path to follow for success. That way, you can use the plan to look back, evaluate your results and adjust your actions as you build your business. To achieve the greatest benefit, your plan should be reviewed at least once or twice a year and revised to reflect changes in the business. Doing business without any plan is less likely to be successful, but if your plan is long and difficult to review, it won’t help much either. When it comes to business plans, we clearly need to build a better mousetrap – and a rapid business plan created with a planning tool may be the answer.
There are strategic business planning tools that help entrepreneurs and business owners objectively document, analyze and present their business idea(s) in a brief, easy to read format. If it contains the crucial informaiton about your busienss that investors look for, the resulting plan can be used for raising capital, crowd funding, applying for commercial loans or begin a new marketing communication campaign. And these tools can make writing a useful business plan easier.
Do you need some assistance with writing your business plan? Contact us for a free consultation.