“Set your business plan to win; raise the bar or you’re not going to be prepared...”
Are you planning to launch a company of your own? Well, it is the generation of start ups, so why not? Let me ask you a simple question at the very beginning. Do you have a business plan yet? No, by business plan we do not mean a roughly carved out flowchart done hastily on the back of your notebook. That’s a rough draft, at best. By a business plan we mean a well developed and effective mode of operation that is guaranteed to bring you success. In the article below, I will be discussing in details about the characteristics of a good business plan and things you need to keep in mind.
What, according to you, makes a good plan? Instead of delving into long motivational speeches about how a good plan should help your business grow, let’s cut to the chase, shall we? A good plan is basically one that will help you make more money. You have to prepare yourself to do what makes you think you can make a 100 million. If you ask most entrepreneurs about their goals when they first started out, they would talk about noble intentions. Of course, good people doing good work is bound to reel in success. But money is what determines the effectiveness of a business plan, at the end of the day.
How much plan is your business plan estimated to make? Or is the current business plan resulting in more losses than profits? Whatever the case may be, you probably need to look up some effective business plans. Roughly speaking, here are some absolutely essential components of a business plan:
- You must start with an executive summary which is a summary of your entire plan and what you have in mind. It gives a clear idea of your company, your goals and what this business plan hopes to achieve. It sets the tone for the rest of the plan.
- Next, you must follow that up with a description of your company. What are you dealing with? Is it ecommerce? What business goals do you have? Where do you see yourself in five years? These points are covered in this section.
- As a company, you must be having a target audience. What’s your market? Whom are you selling your products to? In the plan, you must include a thorough analysis of the market you are dealing with, including the latest trends.
- Each business has a structure of its own, a hierarchy that must be maintained. While the general structure remains the same, the organisational aspects keep changing. Thus, you must include details of the management and organisation plans you have in mind.
- Are you getting funding for the business? Then that must be included in the plan too. This would not only help you avoid confusion in the future but would also help you gain a better perspective.
- Any business plan would be incomplete without a clear idea of the financial projections of the company. Include a general outline of the financial status of the company in your business plan.
Now it’s pretty easy to list the few essential components of a good business plan and be done with it. But now comes the hard part. How do you make your business plan stand out? The points above cater to a generic business plan and can be applied to any company you have in mind. But how do you make sure it works to your advantage? Here is how:
- Your business plan should go with the needs of your company. As you probably know already, each business has a set of unique needs and demands. At any given time, no two businesses have the same set of requirements. The business plan should priorities your needs and largely focus on them.
- With business plans, it is rather easy to get carried away. But keep your feet on the ground and try to chalk out a plan that is realistic. It should be easy to implement; what good will such an impractical business plan do? It will only pull you down further.
- The last thing your business plan should be is vague. It needs to be specific. It needs to recognise the needs of your business, the challenges you are facing and clearly set a number of solutions to counteract the problems. Unless your business plan is specific, it defeats the whole purpose.
- Who’s responsible for what? This question gives rise to most of the chaos at your place of work! Responsibilities and duties must be clearly stated. The person in charge of implementing the business plan must be aware of what he is supposed to do.
- You must remember that a business plan is entirely an assumption. The term “plan” itself is nothing but speculation and may very well turn out to be wrong. Because as we know, nothing ever goes according to plan. Thus, your business plan needs to identify that very real possibility.
- Your business plan should be such that it gets people to commit. Your business plan should instil a sense of responsibility and leadership amidst your workers and should enable them to perform their tasks and duties seamlessly.
- The process of planning never ends. Simply creating a business plan isn’t the be all and end all of it. It doesn’t stop there. Look at your business plan as something versatile – something that is subject to change. It might so happen that your needs and goals might change in the course of the next year. Your business plan should be flexible enough to allow for that; it needs to adapt with your as your business grows and flourishes.
The goal isn’t to just create a business plan; it is equally important to ensure that your business plan actually works. A good business plan will yield results within a short period of its implementation while a poor one could sink the whole ship.