Spending time writing a business plan can make all the difference. It can influence your businesses’ future and provide you with a timeline to help you achieve short and long-term goals.
Are you a planner? In life and/ or in business?
Whilst planning comes naturally for some, it mightn’t be the first priority for those who are a little more free spirited or have a ‘go with the flow’ mindset.
You’ve probably read or heard the quote by Benjamin Franklin, ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’. Would you agree?
This quote rings particularly true within a business context.
Creating a path for your business makes sense and the perfect avenue to do this is through a business plan.
Why do you need a business plan?
They offer many benefits including minimising your chance of business failure.
By thinking through your business idea and mapping out the path ahead, you are able to identify what you want to achieve as well as create a timeline to achieve it.
We can probably all agree we like to achieve goals and reach milestones so there’s nothing to lose by giving some thought to a few key areas that make the perfect framework for your business plan.
What is the purpose of a business plan?
A business plan:
- Is a strategy for future growth
- Directs future finances
- Helps you attract customers
Your business plan should also help you work out:
- What you want to achieve
- A timeline for achieving this
What are the three key topics to consider when beginning your business plan?
Here Are Three Key Topics To Kickstart Your Business Plan:
- Think About The Future
This is where you can really think about those big ideas….those big dreams that may seem distant, scary and maybe even impossible.
Strategies for future growth provide a business with purpose and a long-term plan. They help you extract future short term and long-term goals to work towards (more on this in a minute).
So what are your big plans for the future?
Are your big business plans to…..
- Be a disruptive brand in a crowded marketplace?
- Move to your own factory?
- Offer drop shipping?
- Offer something completely unique?
- Reach x amount of sales by a certain date?
- Have x amount of stockists?
- Become a household brand?
- Be forward thinking?
- Have investors?
- Have x amount of employees?
- Be stocked in a major retailer?
- Work with celebrities?
- Work 3 days a week?
- Create a world first?
- Meet a need?
- Define Your Target Market
It may sound simple but have you really given much thought to who your target market is? Understanding your prospective clients will bring better outcomes to your business.
An important thing that also needs to be understood is who you are speaking to (your audience).
A simple way to define your target customer or ideal client is to gain deeper insight by using an empathy map (you can google empathy maps and several will come up).
An empathy map will provide a better understanding of your client/ customer by figuring out the ins and outs of who they are and what makes them tick. For instance, consider, ‘What would my client say, think, do, feel, see, hear? What are their pain points and pleasure points and their goals?
By breaking down the wants and desires of your target market you can then target their pain or pleasure points when communicating with them.
- Setting Goals
Outlining well defined, short and long-term goals will help you determine the path for your business journey as well as help you set priorities and establish realistic timeframes.
Knowing where you’re going and what you need to achieve every step of the way helps you work towards your goals more efficiently and have a clearer understanding of what resources you’ll need to achieve them.
Business plans can be simple and don’t need to be complicated to work. Whether you’re already running a business or in the process of launching a business, I encourage you to sit down and begin thinking through the three key areas outlined above.
A business plan doesn’t have to take up too much time. I encourage you to view them as a framework and something to revisit if you ever feel lost with your businesses direction or forget the reason you started. You can also think of it as a guide that can ultimately be rewritten or reworked when needed.
There’s so many more business resources and blogs waiting for you. Check out our blog page for more helpful business tips.