There are five key elements you need to include in your business plan:
- Plan for multiple scenarios, not just the best-case scenario.
- The process is important, not the document. You will learn a lot about your business and come up with many ideas on how to improve your business just by reviewing what you do and how you do it.
- Put your abilities under the microscope. Ask yourself if you have the skills necessary to take your business to where you want it to go. List the skills you need to improve on and get some training. Or, find people that can help you fill the gap in your business.
- Back up your plans with concrete facts. Set specific and achievable goals that you and your team can aim for.
- Keep figures clear, concise and realistic.
There are no guarantees in business but the most successful businesses rely on good planning; not just good luck.
A business plan can be anything from one page to fifty pages, but it is not the size of the document that matters. It is the processing, investigating, analysing, researching, advice seeking, information processing and skill acquisition you do while you are planning that really matters.
Make sure you involve your business partners and employees. If you are a sole trader, run the plan past your accountant or an experienced business person. If you don’t have someone to talk to, perhaps it is time to find a mentor. Many state government departments focus on small business and offer cost effective mentoring services.
For more information and some great video clips to get you started on your Business Plan for 2010 go to www.yourbusinesssuccess.com.au/a/DBENews and click on ‘5 Steps to writing a Killer Business Plan.’
– Andrew Vincent is the creator of and business coach for the ‘Your Business Success Program’ (www.yourbusinesssuccess.com.au)