By Kadriye Rouw at April 14 2019 02:58:01
It's like planning backwards. 1. Determine what you want in life 2. Figure out what your business would need to do to give you that life. 3. Figure out how long it would take you to reach it. 4. Figure out how big of a market it would take each of the years you're planning for. 5. Then see if that market is big enough. Isn't this a much better way to go about planning your business? Shouldn't your business be designed to give you want you want instead of you working yourself to death just hoping for the best? So how would you go about calculating all this?
Contextualise Your Budget _ Of course your budget will be extremely important. But sometimes people sort of pluck figures out of thin air, not giving it the context it needs in the business plan to make real concrete sense of how that budget is going to work. So it is crucial that every time you mention financials in your business plan, to really give them the correct context. When I have worked with clients in developing business plans, there has been a budget or amount set aside for example to be spent on marketing, which has been decided a bit arbitrarily. I mean with no real research, no understanding of what that amount needs to be spent on, and what that budget will truly achieve. It seems to have been put there to fill the need to attribute a certain sum to marketing.
Don't Make Assumptions About Customers _ To be an entrepreneur does require plenty of self_confidence, sometimes almost a bloody_minded determination to make your business work. But this confidence spilling over into thinking that you know what 'the market' wants can be dangerous, without checking that it's true. You need to do your research that the market does ultimately want what you will be offering, whatever products or services you will be selling.
Certainly when you reach the point where you are looking for investors or lenders, you will move beyond those first casual notes. Until then, drawing upon your expertise can allow you to quickly jump into the market and perhaps gain a competitive edge by using a minimalist plan. The "One Pressing Issue" Plan: Business planning does not stop the day you open for business. Under the best of circumstances you should be revisiting your plan once or twice a year to see how things are going, and where perhaps you've veered away from your original goals. Remember, changing the direction of a business isn't always bad, but it should be intentional.