Whether you are planning to launch a new business or you want to make your company more successful and profitable, it’s essential to have a well-written and efficient business plan, so you can get to where you want and fulfill your dream. A business plan is actually a “description of your business’s future, a document that tells what you plan to do and how you plan to do it.” This plan can be for a longer period of time, from a quarter of a year to several years in the future. Most experts say that you don’t need a business degree to be successful and that the things that count the most are your determination and your willingness to succeed. Also, you need to have vision and work really hard, so you can achieve your goal. That’s why a functional business plan could help you a lot. It could provide you the stability and the security you need to start working towards fulfilling your dream. Here are a few very useful tips for an efficient business plan that will help you start your business off on the right path:
1. Don’t over-COMPLICATE It!
One of the most important things you should keep in mind if you are trying to create an efficient business plan is that you should not over-complicate it. Just keep it clear and simple! Let’s say that you would have to condense your entire business plan in one page. What would you say? What would be the most important things that you would like to focus on? Just try to clarify your strategy and don’t include all kinds of details that might prevent you from reaching your goals.
2. Be Realistic
Try to be as realistic as possible when you are writing your business plan. Think of your strategy and see if you can really put it to practice. What obstacles do you think you will need to overcome along the way? Try not to waste your time or get disappointed by making all sorts of unrealistic expectations. Just like Ryan Clements said, “If you can’t produce a specific, and logical, action plan then you’ve set an unrealistic goal.”
3. Do Your Research
Before trying to create an efficient business plan, you should do your research, to make sure that you know what you will be dealing with. If you plan on entering a specific market, find out who the major players are and what they have to offer. Also, don’t spend too much time doing research, since you’ll never feel ready to do anything. Document yourself first and then just work on that business plan that you want to implement later.
4. List Your Assumptions
This is a very important thing to do when you are writing your business plan, so make sure you spend enough time on it. Just try to imagine what the economy is going to do or if you would need any additional help. List all those assumptions and incorporate them into your business plan as target goals.
5. Set Specific Goals for Your Business
To be successful, you will need to set some specific, time-based goals with specific action benchmarks, so you’ll be able to track your progress. Milton Erickson, the famous hypnotherapist, once said, “A goal without a date is just a dream,” and he couldn’t be more right! By setting some clear goals, you will know on what aspects you will need to focus to make your business successful and what strategies you’ll need to implement to fulfill your dream.
6. Break down Your Plan into Smaller Chunks
When you’re writing your business plan, make sure you break it down into smaller chunks, so you’ll be able to track your progress and focus on the steps you’ll need to take to reach your objectives. This way, you will be able to measure your targets, thus your plan will serve as a compass.
7. Include All Essential Parts
Make sure you include all essential parts if you want to have a well-written and efficient business plan. You must know what you are going to sell or offer, how you will do it, how much it will cost to do it, how much you will charge for it, who your competition is and what risks you will take when trying to make your business successful. Make sure you don’t leave anything out and that you have definable goals and targets!
8. Be Aware of Your Weaknesses
Be realistic and be aware of your weaknesses! Make sure you know what you will do if some things don't work out as planned and also, do something to correct those weaknesses, so they won’t prevent you from reaching your goals. Just remember that substance always rules over form, so make sure you don’t over-complicate your business plan!
9. The Plan Should Reflect Your Personality
Your business plan should always reflect your personality and your way of thinking. Try not to use someone else’s writing style. If you are not comfortable with a certain thing, then just change it and adjust your plan, so it can suit your needs and reflect your dreams. Your business plan should resonate with you, so make sure you put your own personal touch on it.
In order to make our business more successful you need to have a well-written business plan, because this is the thing that tells you how to get from here to there. Have you ever written a business plan? Do you know any other tips on how to write an efficient business plan? Do tell!