By Abdel Steijns at April 15 2019 00:06:05
What is a business plan? A business plan sets out the method for running a specific activity over a specific future period. Why are business plans needed? Business plans are needed essentially for the four following reasons: 1. A formal, explicit document of the planning process; 2. A request for finances; 3. A framework for approval; 4. A tool for operational business management.
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?
A business plan contains several main elements. First, it lays out the mission and the goal of the business. The plan will spell out whether your company is in business to serve a greater good or simply to fulfill an unmet need. Determine whether your business will serve other businesses or supply products to consumers. These are all important elements that should be included.
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.