What is business planning?
Business planning has become an industry in its own right, with business owners outsourcing the creation of what really does belong in the business owners hands. Why do I think that?
- Because it’s the heart and soul of your business and no-one will understand it better than you do.
- Because it’s a living breathing document that evolves and grows with you and your business. It is not written in stone.
- There are several type of plan you might need and each has its own purpose.
What type of plan do I need?
Determining the right type of plan for you and your business could be as simple as spending an hour discussing your current situation and needs with me. I will help you by providing the most appropriate business planning template and direction for you to get started.
How are your presentation skills? You’re looking at capitalising on maybe 15-20 minutes to build some trust and rapport, engage an audience [of potential investors] show your personality and cover the WIIFM [What’s in it for me?] that will help you bring in much needed new finance. The first presentation will give you a litmus test on how good your idea/concept/MVP/business looks and sounds to others. what you’ll need to do is take the feedback on the chin and use it to hone your presentation for the next time….and the next time…..and the next time. This is really the heart of expressing your efforts with business planning.
The mini plan is exactly that; a concise summary of the key elements of your business and what it is you are trying to achieve [profit improvement, expansion, re-positioning, even just getting started]. It’s the plan you carry with you and the format that helps you maintain focus and explain to other stakeholders, such as your team and external investors, where you’re going.
This is the business plan that plots the path for your business in detail, including robust financial projections and a sharp and clearly defined action plan for getting from here to there. This is the plan you’ll use with your team, investors, lenders and advisors and it’ll help you manage and lead the business.
Devising this plan can be the most daunting of tasks for a lot of entrepreneurs and there are differing opinions on the necessity of spending time, money and resource on creating a plan on this scale. This is perhaps the area where most entrepreneurs and business owners need help with business planning.
A ‘what if’ plan is an extension of a SWOT analysis and is a simple way of defining your contingency plans around the various scenarios that you reasonably feel may have an impact on your business. The rule of thumb is to be practical and limited to the number of possible factors that may impact your business.
You’re more likely to develop a strategic plan when you’re the owner or leader of an existing business and you need to refine and re-focus the business with the aim of enhancing or creating a competitive advantage.
A SWOT analysis, a profile of your customers, an assessment of your product or service and identifying where you can improve, an action plan. It’s a living and breathing document that will take your business to the next level.
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