Business planning comes with many different meanings and have different connotations. A lot of times when people talk about business planning there are many different connotations and ideas about business planning. Most business owners do a business plan when they start the business but never address it afterwards, and other business do a business plan year after year but there is no real accountability to the business plan.
When it comes to business planning there are multiple theories and ideas. The first, and really the most important is having a solid foundation for the business plan. When working with over 200 clients I have noticed that there are some commonalities in the business plan that are connected to successful business owners and businesses. The five sections that are necessary for business success appear to be: Business Overview, Management and Leadership, Marketing, Finance, and Competition. These are the basic foundational categories within a business plan that need to be addressed.
Competition is important for the business owner to understand their competition at the beginning, but should always be a part of the annual conversation so that you have a strong understanding of the overall business growth. Part of the competition section should be to understand your own internal competition. The best way to accomplish this is through the SWOT Analysis, and understand your competition both external and internal.
Marketing and Finance are the next important sections to address. Once you have a foundation of your competition, and you have an understanding of how that competition works you can set your pricing and funding models, and also how to market and compete in the market. Understanding what your competition does, will allow you to find niches and you can then understand how to drive that business to drive the revenues you want.
Once you accomplish these three situations then you can really discuss the market and business overview and also management and leadership. These last two sections are vital, but there is necessary steps before you get to the overview process and discuss how the business will run. Even if you are the only person leading your business, you need to think five to ten years in advance and decide and build a leadership team.
There will be more to come, stay tuned for more in this series.