By Erinn Stronkhorst at April 23 2019 14:28:28
Obtain Feedback On Your Plan _ When writing a business plan you sometimes end up locking yourself away. You might have unique ideas which lead you to seek some isolation and secrecy, or if you are going to be a sole trader you may only have one person to consult namely yourself. But it is fantastic to try and get broader input on your business plan _ whether from a professional, or simply from friends and family whom you trust. I say that because of course you need to be careful with commercially sensitive ideas, as you do not want to pass your plan on to someone in the pub who then starts your idea before you across the road.
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.
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?
Then there are the moments when something seems to be going wrong, when one or more areas of the business just don't seem to be working. Cash flow is anemic or the marketing message is flat. Perhaps customers have shown a marked interest in only one particular product or service, ignoring all your other offerings. This means it's time to revisit your business plan, more precisely it's time to revisit the questioning process that helped you craft your plan.