By Olle Tiggelaar at April 27 2019 06:36:57
As a matter of fact, did you know that the Small Business Administration says that 50% of small business owners will fail sometime during their first 5 years? There are lots of reasons but one big one is that owners don't have a plan. Another is they have picked a product or service that doesn't have a big enough market to sustain their business and sometime during their future they will run out of customers.
If a document needs to be developed that requires input from other disciplines_Finance, HR, Property & Facilities, Marketing, Procurement/Supply Chain_ then most likely you are looking at a team building effort to get the job done. In any event, don't look at the task as only as a roadmap that leads to a profitable product or enterprise. Business plans are a great way to build team buy_in, force a thorough review of options, define objectives, establish benchmarks to judge performance, and help arrive at a plan_of_action. Ultimately, it can lead to a Project Management approach to implementing a plan and that can be as involved and detailed as is necessary.
I mentioned the financial aspect of a plan earlier, so let me add this. Another fact about financials to consider: not all business activities are about making money. Point being, in most enterprises financial considerations are centric to the document. But there are some other considerations. For example, a few years ago I wrote a plan for a new subsidiary that was focused on developing an inventory of patents. The potential financial returns were years into the future. Those patents may or may not ever have commercial value. Another example is a non_profit enterprise that has need for a complete roadmap for growing their profile in a market, of which a marketing plan would be the centerpiece.
Strategic Planning & Goals: The first step is to identify the key company goals which will be the over_arching direction of the plan. These goals should be focused on three areas: financial, growth initiatives and alignment to the company's vision/mission. This provides the overall direction of the company by establishing high_level goals that will be achieved by tactical initiatives. The overall plan should be 1 to 3 years with measurement mileposts monthly, quarterly and annually. While the plan is put in place at the onset of the year, it should be constantly re_forecast with actual results throughout the year.