Every management team should know where it is taking the business, and how it is going to get there.
This is the purpose of the business plan.
This tutorial outlines the key issues to consider when putting together a ‘typical’ business plan.
Depending on the scope of your plan, you may need to omit, expand or combine certain sections.
A primary aim of any business plan is to set out the strategy and action plan for the business for the next one to three years (sometimes five years).
It explains your objectives and how you will achieve them.
By involving your employees in the complete planning process, you continue to build up a successful, committed team.
Priorities are identified. Non-priorities are discarded, saving precious time.
Once written the plan is a benchmark for the performance of the business.
The act of writing the plan helps you crystallise and focus ideas, and identify your priorities.
Content of the plan
Base the plan on detailed information where possible. But do not include all the detail in the plan. Leave the detail for operational or marketing plans.
Detailed business plans are often quickly shelved, because they are difficult to use on
an ongoing basis.
Financiers, business partners and employees will see through over-optimistic plans that ignore weaknesses or threats. Management credibility can be damaged.
This summarises the key points, starting with the purpose of the business plan.
Show the plan to friends and expert advisers and ask for comments.
Which parts did they not understand?
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