Writing A Great Business Plan
4 March 2020
Before you dive head first into your entrepreneurial journey you should head the words of Benjamin Franklin; “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”. Putting on the brakes to your dream can feel almost impossible however, it is the first thing you can do to ensure your business success.
What Is A Business Plan?
A business plan is a roadmap that outlines the path you need to take to success. You wouldn’t take off on a year-long road trip across the country without a map (or GPS) so why would you jump into a business without a clear idea of where you are going? Fear not, unless you are crafting a plan to present to prospective investors you can create a lean business plan. Think dot points rather than paragraphs.
Ready to get started? A great resource is the business.gov.au comprehensive business plan template.
How Should You Present Your Business Plan?
A business plan should be a living, breathing document. The plan doesn’t end once your business opens – it goes on for the lifetime of your business. Meaning you are constantly referring to and tweaking it because you are regularly evaluating your business. A printed version of your business plan becomes outdated the moment you hit print and should only be printed when presenting a current plan to investors.
5 Reasons Why You Should Write A Business Plan
1. To gain clarity
Clarity comes from being able to easily express who your business is and the plans you have for its future. Knowing and living your company values, vision and ethos are important in creating your branding and overall business identity. Clarity also comes from establishing short and long term goals to keep your business on track.
2. To build a cohesive brand
Branding defines who you are in business. When done correctly, branding can improve recognition, build trust, inspire employees and ultimately generate new customers. Budget for a graphic designer to help craft your logo, website design, colour pallet and font styles. If you need assistance with graphic design or brand development, please feel free to get in touch. By taking the time to plan a cohesive brand you will create a stronger more recognisable business. You can read more about branding and why it’s so important for your business’s success here.
3. To understand and plan your finances
Having a detailed plan ensures you go into your business with a clear understanding of your finances. Money can disappear quickly when starting up. Knowing what you are happy and able to invest allows you to make financial decisions quickly and without regret.
4. To understand your target market
By the time you launch your business, you should have a clear understanding of your industry, where your business fits within that industry, who your closest competitors are and most importantly, who your target market is. Understanding your customer; their ages, locations, likes, dislikes, wants, needs, blockers and technology habits will allow you to target your marketing campaigns and platforms for greatest impact. Ultimately, knowing your market will save you time and money in the future.
5. To identify strengths & weaknesses
Having a business plan helps you to identify potential pitfalls in your idea. Often we can be too close to our business to identify the weak points. Seek out experts and professionals who are in a position to give you invaluable advice, and share your plan with them.
Patience Is Key
While passion and impatience would see you open your business in record time, the best thing you can do for future success is taking the time to plan out everything in your business so you can be well prepared to take the world by storm.