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09 August 2017

Putting Together a Business Plan

If you are small business starting out, or even any business for the matter, having a business plan is important.

A business plan is great as it helps you do just that - plan! You can keep track of everything that needs to be done. You will also have a set amount of objectives you want to reach. Plans help keep you organised. If you don’t have any plan in place and go with the flow, there is no way to see how you are doing. It could end in disasters. You don’t want that do you!

In this week’s blog we will go through the importance of a business plan and how to put one together.

 

Business Plan: Why they’re important

Business plans are important because they help you gain a good clear understanding of your business and what goals you want for it. Now we are not saying a having a business plan in place will completely turn your company around and make you earn a million. BUT it will definitely help.

Putting a business plan together will take a chunk of time, however in the long-run, it will help make your business run a lot smoother. Follow these steps on how to create the best business plan…

Step One: Understand your Business: 

When you first start your business, the first thing you should do is grab a cup of tea, sit down with a pen and paper and your colleagues (or not if you work alone) and really delve into what your business is going to be about and what the main aim of the business is.

This is the time to see how you want things to work, what your culture will be and how you will accomplish this. Maybe even have a five year plan!

Step Two: Research:

The next step, after you understand what you are after in terms of your business is to research the industry and the audience. DOn’t assume everyone will love your product or service. Work out who your primary audience is and your secondary audience as well, this way then you can tailor any marketing or communications plan to suit those and then think about how to attract the remaining audience.

Step Three: Identify any potential issues: 

We’ve touched up this before in our previous blog ‘Online Problems and Solutions’ and it is very relevant in this blog. Any business, especially new businesses, will face potential issues so it is good to identify then now and think about how you will be able to solve them. Identifying them now will help you know exactly what to do if something happens. This will make you more efficient and save time.

Step Four: Aims and Objectives:

Once you have gone through what you want for your business, what potential problems there will be and who you are going to be targeting, it is then good to note down all your aims and objectives. It’s good to have up to five to start, too many can be overwhelming. Make sure you have ways to measure the objectives as well

Step Five: Put it All Together: 

Now is the time to put together your business plan! Once you have gathered all the information, you can then summarize. Collate and puut it together in a document you can refer to. This document needs to be clear and concise. Think of it this way, if you were to give the document to a potential partner or investor, they will need to be able to go through and understand exactly what your business is about. Good sections to include are:

  1. Introduction
  2. Business summary
  3. Aims and objectives
  4. Market ressearch and audience breakdown
  5. Marketing plan
  6. Risks and solutions
  7. Financial costs
  8. Future projections

...and there you have it! These points will help you in putting together your business plan. Don’t forget to take some time to really go through everything and remember, research is key.

Happy Planning!

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