The Business Plan
9 April 2014
This blog is intended to explain the full potential of your business plan.
We have just updated our Business Plan and wanted to share some insights as to why these are important for the growth and success of your business.
You may have put one together when you started your business and it is now collecting dust in the drawer, next to the filing cabinet.
How about if we told you it can be adapted to be used as a positive tool to be developed as your business develops.
You maybe three years into your business, you have changed both as a person, and as a business in that timeframe. What was important three years ago, may not be so important, you may have other ideas, now you’ve dipped your toes into the world of entrepreneurship.
Why Do This In The First Place?
To focus on specific goals you wish to achieve, have something to aim for.
To take on a planned approach to your daily routine. The successful companies plan everything.
To know your customer better
To know your competitors better
To work on your threats and weaknesses . Stand out from the crowd.
Lets break it down.
Your Mission Statement
What do you want to be?
What do you want your business to be?
What is your Unique Selling Point, what is your business goal all about?
Why are you doing what you are doing?
Update the business plan with these new inspirational ideas.
You have now been in business for while. You now have experience with what you are doing. You may have made some mistakes along the way, but have learnt from them using that knowledge to better use.
The SWOT analysis is all about where you are today, and how you compare with your expectations and more importantly against the competition.
Strengths - you have first-hand experience of running a business. What have you gained from your time doing it.
Weaknesses – you listed these in your first business plan, did you manage to eliminate some. Have you gained new ones?
Opportunities – No matter how big or small your business is there are always opportunities to promote and sell your product. Use your contacts you have now built up. They may be able to put some work your way. Give you access to that contract you’ve been chasing. Its not necessarily what you know, its who you know.
Threats – Whether you own the local shop down the road, or run a large corporation.
Three main threats to your business survival. The economic environment, cashflow and the competition. Embrace and learn all you can about them, be one step ahead.
The Products Or Services You Offer
What services or products do you offer ?
What is your Unique Selling Point ?
How saturated is the market place ?
How big is your market, what is your potential piece of the pie?
Is it local area or a global market ?
Can you make a profit from what you are doing?
The Marketing Strategy
How am I visible to the market place
Advertising in the local press
Word of mouth
Looking at the competition and your customer base, the target market. This should be taking up the main part of your business plan Your strengths and weaknesses against the competition Your target market
How your marketing campaign has been working so far, track what works and what doesn’t. Some Number Work Set yourself a detailed budget and compare to actual figures Put together a cashflow statement.
Whatever youre doing always keep an eye on the cash and profitability.
Check and triple check your costings.
Nicola Cross 9 April 2014
This blog is intended for information purposes only and is only advice from past experience, you may have other suggestions of your own. It is not intended to be used to make all of your business decisions but as a guide only.