By Kadriye Rouw at April 17 2019 08:36:51
Who should prepare the plan? As a business consultant, this may sound like heresy, but I believe that any plan should be produced by the senior management of the organisation. That is not to say that the consultant does not have a role to play in its preparation. He does. Senior management should prepare the plan as they will then be able to present and discuss it, demonstrating to their audience that they fully understand their business and market. I believe that the consultant's role is to help facilitate the preparation of the plan, the consultant can help undertake the necessary research, and can cast a critical and impartial eye over the plan.
Some of the questions a growth business plan might ask you are: _ Are you comfortable that the market wants and is willing to buy your product or service? _ Is your product or service priced so it is competitive in your market? _ What's different about your product or service? Why would a customer purchase it over someone else's? _ Is your market big enough to support your business? What about 15 years into the future? _ If you wanted a better lifestyle, what would your business need to do to give you that lifestyle? _ How much sales would your business need to generate to give you that income? _ How much sales would your business need to generate to give you the income you want 15 years into the future? _ What will be the cost of your labor and material? _ What will your expenses run? _ How much will it cost to overcome the capacity constraints that will occur as your business grows to meet your income requirements? _ Will your profit give you the income you want in the future and at the same time maintain a healthy business for you as well?
Sometimes no matter how much you research, plan, or test, things don't go as expected in a business. This isn't necessarily a herald of failure or a sign that you're not cut out for entrepreneurship. Life and the marketplace are both unpredictable, and plans need to be fluid and responsive. The "One Pressing Issue Plan" is simply a reflection of a normal evaluation process.
Understand gaps and weaknesses within the plan. Any casual viewer of the BBC programme, Dragons Den will be aware of how easy it is for weaknesses or gaps to be identified. Depending upon the purpose of the plan, this may, or may not, prove to be critical. It is often easier to recognise such weaknesses and gaps, and be prepared to deal with them, either by noting them in the plan itself, or having appropriate answers available should the need arise.