5 Tips for a Good Business Plan
For you to succeed in any adventure you embark on or any business, there is always the need for you to have a proper understanding of what it entails. Before writing a good business plan, you must have knowledge of what a business plan really is. I’m going to break this down for you as simple as possible so that you can take full maximization of it.
What is a business plan?
Just as there is always a roadmap to a city or to a country, there is also one for success. A business plan is one vital step you need to follow if you want to succeed in your business. It is a written document about your business that outlines and shows you what you intend to achieve in about a three to five year time. It can also be referred to as the vision you have towards your business per time. Putting up a good business plan before kick-starting your business saves you from a lot of frustration because all that is needed to be done within a specific period of time has already been outlined.
There are some cogent tips you need to bear in mind if you desire to have a good business plan. These tips will help you a lot if you put them into consideration when developing business plans. They have been used by so many people and the outcome from these tips have been of great help. You too can enjoy success in your business adventure if you stick to them. Below are the tips:
1. When developing your business plan, use words that are easily understandable.
This is not the time to show your vocabulary skills. There is time for everything. Try as much as you can to avoid using jargon because your business plan is what you need to go over and over again for a stipulated period of time which it is designed for. Be very precise about what you want and use language that is plain and easy to understand. Your business plan must be understood by you and by any potential investor or lender as well. Write concisely, clearly and logically. Make use of charts, illustrations, graphs, and tables only where necessary. A business plan needs to be well packaged, professionally published on desktop, and well secured.
2. Ensure that your market is well defined.
Don’t have the impression of marketing to everyone. Define your market and try as much as possible to know who your customers really are. You may be wondering, how do I know my customers? It is very easy. Just sit down and critically ask yourself some important questions like; Who are the people that really need my product? Do these people fall within a specific age group or is it a general product for all? What services or products do they really want? How are they presently being served? Identifying the needs of your customers and effectively meeting them more than the competition enable you to carve your niche in the market place.
3. Carry out proper research.
Most people fail in business or experience a very slow progress because they think that business is something you can just jump into. You can have a very good business idea but if proper homework or research is not carried out, you may crash along the way. There is need for you to do your homework. You can start your secondary research by accessing resources from online database about small business or visit a library around you. After all these, you can then supplement your research with primary findings such as surveys, focus group, and interviews. Try to be an expert in every area of your business, ranging from competitors, products/services, market condition that may affect your business, to the demographic changes. Having a better knowledge about the industry you belong to helps you in planning for success.
4. Be honest to yourself
This is a very vital tip you need to strongly consider when writing a good business plan. Most people miss it at this stage because they are not real to themselves. I can categorically tell you that this is where it all begins. How you source for money and your annual revenue should be in details and well explained. I will like to reiterate that you should be honest and real to yourself because when proper record is not kept, success of the business will be slowed. You should ensure that your breakeven points and revenue forecast are realistic. Don’t be carried away by figures and make sure that what you are doing is within your capabilities. I will like to admonish you to pay more attention to this tip because it can either make or mar your effort.
5. The last but certainly not the least tip is for you not to abandon your business plan.
Majority of business owners think that developing a business plan is just one of those things that need to be done before starting a business. They virtually have no good understanding of the importance and purpose of a business plan. A friend of mine came to me some time ago and asked me to write a business plan for him. The reason he attributed to it was outrageous. He said, “Please I need a business plan that should be placed on the shelf so that it doesn’t look like I don’t have one.” A business plan is not something you write and forget in a place. As a matter of fact, it is not something you do to impress anyone. The purpose of this is to help guide you in the right direction towards achieving a good success in your quest. You need to go over it frequently so that you can remain on track for the number of years for which the plan was designed for. Use your plan to monitor the progress of your company, and go through it regularly. The business plan can be updated overtime based on your new wants and needs. Make sure you document your new update so your plan can stay in projection.