A business plan is often something that entrepreneurs overlook. In fact, approximately 80% of small businesses without a business plan fail within the first five years. They can be difficult or lengthy to write, are they really needed, and, who has time to write a business plan?
However, a good business plan is a great resource to have, not just to attract investors or partners, but it can also be helpful for you and your team to follow and refer to when trying to reach your overall business goals. Make sure that you have the following 5 components to create a solid business plan.
A good business plan always:
Defines goals. Goals. This is the first “order of business” that every good business plan should address. After all, the purpose of a good business plan is to promote business growth and development. And this can’t happen without defining your goals.
Outlines strategy. Now that you’ve identified your goals, how are you going to achieve them? Your strategy could be your business management strategy, your marketing strategy or even a development strategy. Your “strategy” ultimately depends on your goals. *Hint: Be sure part of your strategy includes generating leads by utilizing an easy to remember, effective lead-generating vanity toll free number.
What is your methodology to reach them? How does your business’s mission and vision play a crucial role in your strategy? How are your values incorporated into your strategy?
Identifies obstacles. In addition to defining and outlining goals, it’s equally as important to identify obstacles and challenges. In identifying challenges, it’s important to break them down further and really address the critical path that stands in the way of obtaining your biggest goal. What is your biggest challenge? A good business plan will recognize a business’s challenges and weaknesses and then identify action items to address each one.
Sets action items. As mentioned above, a good business plan not only identifies obstacles and challenges, it also recognizes action items that should be taken to address each challenge and obstacle. For example, if a challenge for a particular business is resources, then an action item might be to recruit additional talent, set up trainings, and even refining and documenting work flow processes for onboarding.
Finishes With Executive summary. Finally, a good business plan always concludes with an executive summary. This section ties in everything the plan documented: goals, challenges, the critical path, action items, and tasks. How do these goals tie into your business’s overall mission, vision or values?
Now that we know what a good business plan needs to have, take the next steps to success by writing a good business plan.