Thoughtful Planning Goes a Long Way for a Small Business
A business plan is an essential road map for success. It documents the route that your company intends to take in order to reach, maintain and grow revenues. There are many resources available to assist companies with building a business plan to achieve success, and the SBA is a great place to start! Check out their dedicated page of resources.
The Working Plan
A working plan is the version of your business plan is used internally. It should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure it adequately reflects the reality of your business. Your working plan should be a well reviewed document that becomes the reality check: Are things working as planned? Are there other circumstances that should be considered and added into the plan?
The Planning Process
When assessing the current situation of your company, be honest and realistic. Business planning is a process with a variety of steps to ensure you have a complete picture.
Make sure to include:
- Analysis of the external environment
- Analysis of the internal environment
- Definition of the mission and what your company will actually do
- Business goals and objectives
- Strategies to get there
- Tactical plans
- Measurement of outcomes
Marketing & Sales
To be successful, the business and marketing plan should be connected. This explains how you will get customers to buy your products or services you intend to sell. To provide substance and direction you will need to articulate your pitch or “30 second commercial” about why your company exists and what you will do to earn a client’s trust and business. Spend time refining your sales pitch to ensure others will understand you and the company, follow your ideas, and will ultimately buy your wares!
Have you taken time to develop your business plan? How has it helped you achieve success?