Why Do I Need A Business Plan?
If you are serious about business you need a business plan! No question!
Why, because a business plan gives you a clear insight in to your business, it details your purpose, your market, your projections and at the very least it should allow you or any other member of your team to see how all the component parts of your business will mesh together. Never underestimate the power of a business plan to help your company grow and increase your profits.
What if there is only you? Then you should write your business plan as if it were twelve months ahead, looking forward over the next twelve months with your team on board, in that way your business plan will serve as a compass, guiding you, especially on those days where you become so bogged down with the ‘doing’ that you lose sight of the end goal.
A common question we are asked here at Assist is “I need a business plan but don’t know where to start” We know it’s a daunting task, we have written business plans ranging from just five pages and the largest one being one hundred and forty pages. Here’s the rub both plans got the business owner what they wanted!
There is no simple ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to the the contents and detail of your business plan. What really matters is who you are writing it for and the purpose of the business plan.
Lets say you wish to grow your business and that you are applying for funding from a bank or another lending institution, they will need to know:
- Your track record as far as the financials are concerned
- What the finance is for
- How you will use the money
- What your financial projections look like and whats the worst case scenario
- What security can you offer
They will also need to understand your rational for requiring the funding, a detailed SWOT analysis is really useful in supporting this rational especially if you are changing your company focus. We always suggest that any business owner should carry out a detailed SWOT analysis at least once a year as it helps to highlight areas of weakness and threats to the business as well as bringing opportunities to your attention.
There are numerous other models that can be used to great effect in your business plan which help to articulate your requirements and help the reader understand your thought process and the functions of your business. Another really useful tool we use is the value chain analysis, it excellent for visually laying out the sections of your organisation and how they all impact on one another and ultimately what value they add to the end product or service.
When most business owners think about business plans they tend to assume that this is only something they should do when they are looking at getting investors or get a new loan. However, as stated business plans offer a lot more than just supporting documentation when you are applying for finance.
With a well written, well thought out business plan, you get a better perspective of your business, how it is at the moment, and what you can expect in the future.
So, here are our top 5 reasons you need a business plan:
1: Get A Good Perspective Of Your Overall Business:
A business plan gives you a unique perspective, it allows you to connect the many dots that are needed to make your business a success. With a business plan to guide you, you will be able to see how to connect your sales department to your marketing department, for example. Or your sales team with your customer support team.
2: Define Priorities:
The truth is that you can’t do everything required yourself. Your resources are scarce so you need to get your priorities right. With a business plan in place, you will be able to prioritise and allocate your efforts, time, and resources accordingly. Then plan for bringing in your team.
3: Strategic Focus:
When you are running a small business, it is extremely important that you have a strategic focus. This means that you should look at your target audience and try to only serve them. As your business grows and expands, you can then try to reach a bigger audience. The business plan keeps you on track and stops you disappearing down a rabbit hole.
4: Adopt Needed Changes:
The market is always changing, evolving. And your business plan needs to evolve also which is why we always recommend updating your business plan every twelve months. Your business plan should always be looking forward over the next twelve months, highlighting possible changes in your market and making sure you are on the right track to meet your goals.
5: Manage Cash:
One of the main issues most small business owners face is in managing their cash flow. The truth is that the task isn’t easy but with a solid business plan and cash flow forecast in place, it will make your cash management job so much easier.
Business Plans fully written for you from just £795
Here at Assist Corporation we can help you drive your business forward by writing a business plan for you. Get in touch below and lets discuss your requirements and what will work best for you and for your business.