Chances are you would have created a business plan during the early stages of setting up your business. The development stage of your business is a great time to re-asses your goals and objectives, and to identify areas of improvement or opportunity. Business plans not only help in the assessment of financial situations, but also help give focus and direction to all business activities. They should not only be made when starting up a new business. It’s also a good idea to regularly draft and manage well-researched plans at various stages of the business cycle. Remember: your business plan should continually be revised to reflect your current financial situation and include realistic expectations for the future.
Before starting, it’s important to have all the information required to devise a business plan. This could include financial reports, past sales and marketing performance reports, market research and customer feedback surveys. It’s also a good idea to perform a ‘SWOT’ analysis of the business which spells out the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Treats in relation to the company and the industry sector. Reviewing the marketplace, carefully segmenting the target customers and understanding their specific needs, and keeping an eye on the competition are all important steps involved in drafting a good business plan.
Creating a successful business plan requires a lot of information, in-depth analysis and careful planning. Particularly during this important phase of your business, it might be worthwhile to enlist the help of a financial expert, such as an experienced accountant.
Your business plan outline might look like the following sample.