By Olle Tiggelaar at April 24 2019 15:21:57
At this point, you may be tempted to skip writing a business plan altogether, viewing it as an unnecessary exercise in jumping_through_the_hoops, suggested by some old business professor who probably never held down a "real" job anyway. Maybe it's okay as an assignment for an MBA class, but it would be just too confining and irrelevant for today's fast_paced business environment. Anyway, you're ready! You've thought about this business venture for a long time and talked it over with friends and everybody agrees it's a great idea. Best to strike while the iron is hot!
So, what would your business look like over the next 10 years to give you that? Could you build a plan that would show exactly how your business could do that? It would show what your sales, fixed expenses, material cost, labor cost, and variable expenses would need to be. It should also show you how many customers you would need and would show you what your profit and profit margins would be each year. All it takes is your current business numbers as we listed earlier and you can make a business plan as many years out as you like.
What should be included in the business plan? Without being too prescriptive, there are certain necessary elements which need to be included. Such elements are: · Preliminaries _ such as contents, contacts and definitions; · An executive summary; · A description of the business; · A review of the market, the competition and market positioning; · The vision, mission and objectives; · The corporate strategy; · The plan for developing the products and services; · Financial projections; · An outline of the risks and opportunities; · A conclusion.
It could be, for example, the risk of a change in the economic environment _ what are your contingency plans for that in terms of dealing with such a situation? There may be many other risks as well specific to your particular sphere of operation, but that ability to plan ahead for all scenarios makes for a robust business plan. When I have received business plans, the very best responses come from people who have looked at the risks and have an answer for every question. What you never want is to throw a scenario at your plan and have to answer "I don't know what I would do in that situation". You want to plan for every possible contingency, and certainly all the major risks to the ongoing success of your business.