Business plans are more than just a document outlining the steps you will take to launch and grow your business.
The business plan is a road map throughout the process, assisting you in determining what to do when you encounter obstacles or missteps.
Many entrepreneurs and new business owners make mistakes when they rush to start a business without taking important details into account.
Before you start your business, a good business plan can help you anticipate important issues and potential challenges.
Conduct Lots of Research
Read other business plans before starting your own. Understand exactly what you need to put into your plan and why. Everything must be qualified.
Know Your Customer
Outline who your ideal customer is, location, age, income, gender, education, hobbies etc.
Know Your Competitors
Identify other companies that are selling your current market. What are they doing, advertising and where, what is their service like, what is there pricing and sales strategy.
Know Your Market
What is the estimated size, monetary value that encompasses your total market? Drill down into your local numbers and segmentations too.
Make Your Vision Actionable
It is critical to have a vision for your business—the long-term plan, the pinnacle at which you want your business to achieve. Then break the vision down into actionable steps/goals so you be more specific and take the right steps to achieve your vision.
Although you will be making projections based on your growth, put in as much detail as you can. If you believe you will grow by 25% in the first year, where is this growth coming from?
Keep it Simple
Be super clear in layout, there is no need to dress the business plan up. Use basic language and sentences to explain your thoughts.
Be Specific in Your Action Plan
What specific actions are you going to take place in the first month, the first quarter, the first year?
The SWOT is Important
Use your research to identify where you are weak, where there are opportunities and threats. Then, prioritise what you have identified and how you are going to get the desired outcome.
If you are sharing your business plan with others, remember that people are busy. A strong executive summary that is clear and precise so the reader can flick to the sections in your plan that they want to quickly.
The importance of a business plan can not be underestimated, but remember a business plan is just a document unless you action what is in it. All of the above are only words if there is no action taken. Continuous business improvement is very important to your business, a business plan is just the start, but a very important start. A business plan will help you will make more money and increase profit in your business and guide you to success.
The New Zealand Government also provides useful tips to help business planning and you can find the website here.
You can find more useful articles here.
P.S. Here is the link to the resource page for the business planning PDF.