If you believe that you don’t need a business plan, then good luck with your business, and I wish you well! However, if you believe that a business plan will increase the success of your business, then read more. We have all heard it “Fail to plan, plan to fail” this has never been so true. Great planning often means the difference between success and failure. Where your entrepreneurial dreams are concerned, you should do everything possible to plan for success. A business plan will set you on the right path by better understanding your business, how much you’ll need to invest or finance. If you don’t convince yourself to invest why should any investors and lenders fund your business. A business plan will help you identify your potential opportunity, what your customers are really looking for. A great business plan will identify your weaknesses as well as create amazing opportunities. A great business plan can have investing begging to invest in you.
In my experience a business plan could save you thousands in guesswork and fundamental mistakes. A business plan will help you plan, set goals and maintain business focus. A business plan will help you secure the necessary funding to grow your business. A business plan will help enlighten potential talent that you need to grow your business. A business plan will encourage you to stay on track to achieve your dream.
A good business plan must be easy to read, clear and concise. A good business plan will have the right amount of detail and include information on all aspects of your business; including background information, the opportunity, your plan of execution, financial situation and funding required as well as personnel and various operating procedures. Think of it like this, if your partner, grandmother or potential investor picked up your business plan, they will have a very clear understanding of what your business is, why it will be successful and how you plan to grow and fund your business.
It all depends on what the objective of the plan is? On average you would expect your plan to be at least 30-50 pages for a small business, although I have created a number of consolidated business plans with approx 15-20 pages. These have been pitched at commercial bank managers for small businesses and have achieved their required objective.
It depends on a number of factors, however, the process on average takes 2 months. Planning phase: (5-7 weeks) Getting to know you and your business. We do this by having regular weekly online meetings. We like to think that we are part of your business and management team, by also offering valuable advice and guidance. Delivery phase: We deliver your business plan after the planning phase, after which we shall continue the weekly meetings to discuss, review, making any amendments and finally delivering the final plan for you 7-8 weeks in total.
If you don’t understand your market how can you position your business. If you don’t understand what your audience are thinking how can you market to them. If you don’t understand your competition, how can you improve your offering. Plan to succeed, not fail. Good market research will guide your business in the right direction, highlight the opportunities, give you invaluable insight to help make the right decisions.
Think of it like this. Would you buy a house without doing surveys? You would normally check out the local area, what schools are available, quality of schools, are you are on a flood plain etc. The sames goes when starting a business, market research is very important to understand the opportunities, threats and associated risks.
There are many reasons why market research is beneficial. Here are 7
- Minimises investment risk.
- Helps identify potential business threats and opportunities.
- Helps identify your competitors strengths and weaknesses.
- It helps facilitates strategic thinking.
- It helps identify customers needs, wants and desires.
- It helps identify new and emerging trends
- Helps identify your target audience.
Good market research is an invaluable tool and should be part of your business plan. Start by identifying your target audience, who are they? Where are they? What age? What makes them tick? Who are your competitors? Where are they? What are their strengths and weaknesses. Where can you find this information? Ask your customers, look at forums, check out Google, Look at Blogs. Access to this information has never been easier.