Business Planning – Writing Good Business Plans
A business plan is something that every business needs but not every business owner takes the time to create. When you create a business plan, you are giving your company a road map to follow that is designed to get you the results that you want to achieve. Each business idea requires its own business plan, and each business plan requires the right parts to be complete.
As you start to put your business plans together, you should create a matrix that you will use to be sure that you get all of the right information included. Remember that your business plan will be the document that you and everyone in your company will refer to when it comes to getting your business plans done. If you do not have a comprehensive document, then your company’s productivity will suffer.
What’s the Plan?
The opening of any business plan is a clear description of what the plan will address. A lot of business owners like to incorporate information from within the business plan in this opening summary to give it more substance. This is a good idea as including information from within the plan will give anyone who is reading it the inspiration to move forward and read the rest.
Cast of Characters
Any comprehensive and useful business plan is going to include a complete list of the names of the personnel who will be involved in executing the plan and the role each person will play. This is done for two reasons. The first reason is to give everything in the plan a traceable point of origin. If something goes wrong, then it is easier to see who to talk to about that issue when the chain of responsibility is in place. The other reason that listing people in your business plan is important is that it makes replacing people who have left the company much easier. When you know who is gone, then you know exactly where to plug in the new person.
Every business plan needs to outline the start-up budget and the ongoing operating budget for the entire plan. These numbers are critical because they become benchmarks used to determine the success or failure of the plan. A comprehensive budget includes every aspect of the plan’s operation and it also offers suggestions for how to keep the budget under control as the plan moves forward.
Your business plan has a purpose, and you need to determine how you will show that purpose in real numbers. Your projections can be sales projections, and increase in revenue projection or a product unit sales projection. The projections in your business plan are the way in which you will measure the success of the progress. Your projections are broken down into milestones and you would compare your actual progress with the projections you had created when developing your business plan.
A business plan has a starting date and an ending date. You need to put a time frame on your business plan so that you can take the data you have generated and use it to improve the way your company operates.