By Tjitte de Werd at May 02 2019 11:09:19
Research Your Competitors (But Don't Copy!) _ Every business plan should focus a lot on the business's potential competitors, because research and analysis of the competition effectively gives you plenty of useful information. It may guide you as to where you should be advertising and marketing, or certain strategies to use or ones to avoid because you see they have been used unsuccessfully by others.
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.
Fundamentals, Cycles & Trends (FC & T's): Your plan, if done in advance and thoroughly, should provide and excellent foundation from which to work. Even the best plan still has to react to outside forces that will influence your best intentions. Identifying certain fundamentals, cycles and trends that may impact your company is a prudent way to being able to develop a contingency "plan B" in the event an outside force rears its head. A series of key FC & T's should be monitored throughout the year so that if required, your plan can react. Certain FC & T's may include wholesale pricing, weather, commodity markets or labor market impacts that are out of your control. In my opinion, developing contingency plans in advance for these outside forces at least gives you a fighting chance to react favorably.
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.