When and Why a Business Plan is Necessary
Yikes, really? A business plan? You must be kidding me. Who still takes time and effort spending hour upon hour scribbling down some details which are bound to change and will most probably never see the light of day? Especially in a world where change is constant and being able to pivot and refocus is what is required to ensure success.
You have a point, well almost. The idea of a business plan is not to be this grand master plan which is set in stone from which you feed your daily to-do list. So why have one?
- The business plan should be a reference document, your guiding north star. It should set out your ambitions and goals as well as force you to plot the route well knowing that it will have many diversions along the way.
- You use it to map out your strategy and discover the requirements relating to what I consider the four core spheres of a business: brand, people, structure, and systems.
- It gets your ideas out of your head and onto paper. Writing it down and going over it a few times makes you think differently about it.
- It forces you to think differently and integrate your budget, cash flow forecasts, and funding requirements into your ideas as opposed to thinking about them in isolation.
- This is what third parties and funders will see even before they meet you in person, so ensure this is done properly.
Structuring a Business Plan
The best practice is to include at least the following in your business plan. This will give the user a good understanding of your product and vision for the future.
- A cover or title page
- Executive summary
- Business overview and background
- Ownership and management overview
- The product or service – an overview
- The legal and regulatory environment
- Information about the four core pillars of your business:
- Brand (Brand, Marketing and Sales Strategies)
- People (Recruitment, Skills, Culture and Compliance)
- Structures (Legal, Financial and Organisational)
- Systems (Relevant software solutions to run your business)
Need more help with this? I believe is a more fluid, working document when it comes to planning and thinking about your business. You’re welcome to take a look at what I’ve put together on my website DEVELOPING A BUSINESS PATHFINDER GUIDE