There is not only one method to write a business plan. But there are some key things you should understand when preparing this.
Tips for preparing a business plan
- Firstly, Be clear and focused about what you want to achieve – this will support align your team so you’re all working for the same thing.
- Then select the type of business plan that works for you – you may like to have a document, or a business canvas might work better.
- And also you have to keep it short, simple and easy and clear to understand.
- Keep your targets realistic and relevant to what is going on in the economy and in your industry.
- Find useful business tools and statistics on the Internet.
- Get useful business data from the Internet.
- Get out and speak with your customers to gain an understanding of how your product works for them and whether it’s something they would pay for.
- The most important thing is to do a SWOT analysis to determine your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
- After that ask your advisor or mentor to review your plan and grant you feedback and suggested improvements.
Implementing your business plan
- You have to put your business plan as a living document – don’t leave it to gather dust on a shelf.
- Make sure it’s easily accessible and top-of-mind for you and your team.
- Reflect your goals in the day-to-day operations of your business.
- Outline the most cost-effective and practical way to achieve each goal – make a note of any extra resources you’ll need.
- Make it more clear these goals are the top priority for the business.
SWOT your business, and your competition
A SWOT analysis is a great way to assess what your business does well, and where you will want to improve. It can also support you identify ways you can exploit opportunities, and to identify and prepare for potential threats to your business success.
Strengths and weaknesses are typically inside your business — what are you good at, what are you not so good at — while opportunities and threats are external factors.
It can be as simple as drawing a large square, and dividing it into four quadrants – one for each element of the SWOT analysis.
Think about what you, your team, and your business are good at – all the attributes that will support you achieve your goals, eg. what you (and your team) do well, any unique skills or expert knowledge, what you/your business do better than your competitors, good processes and systems, and where your business is most profitable.
Think about the things that could stop you from achieving your objectives, including what costs you time and/or money, the areas you or your company need to improve in, what resources you lack, which parts of the business aren’t profitable, poor brand awareness, disorganised processes, or a poor online presence. Think about what you can do to minimise your weaknesses.
Think about the external conditions that will help you achieve your goals. How can you do more for your existing customers, or reach new markets? Are there related products and services that could provide opportunities for your business, and how could you use technology to enhance your business?
Consider the external conditions that could damage your business’s performance – things like what’s going on in your industry, and in the economy, the obstacles you face, the strengths of your biggest competitors, and things your competitors are doing that you’re not. Think about how you could try to minimise or manage the threats.
Repeat the exercise for your competition too – it’ll help you identify areas where you can beat them, to fine-tune your niche market, and make sure you’re prepared to address the challenge they pose.
Review your business plan
- Check how you’re tracking to reach key milestones in your business plan every month, and celebrate when these have been reached.
- Stay on top of industry trends and stay connected with your customers – this will help you stay ahead of any changes needed in your business.
- And also continuously update your business plan with any changes affecting your business or industry.
- Not being able to clearly articulate your business and the value it offers to customers.
- You have to prepare assumptions about your clients rather than speaking with them.
- Not reviewing and monitoring your business plan.
- Setting unrealistic or uninformed targets.
With considering above factors you can start to prepare the best business plan for your business. It will help you to provide guidance to you to be successful in the considering time period.