Building a business without a plan can be compared to taking a trip to a new location with no map or directions. The odds build fast that you are bound to get lost at some point in the journey. Having a business plan when you step out into your new entrepreneurial endeavor will give you a practical tool for finding your path to success.
Every person and every business looks at things just a little different than the next. One driver may do fine with just a map. Another person may need step by step directions to understand the road to the destination. Making a business plan means understanding your own needs, the needs of the business and the best method for making those two needs come together in a practical way.
Building YOUR Business Plan
1. Are you visual? The internet has made it possible for you to see the actual street where when you type in for directions. It makes it possible to get landmarks and other visual cues for finding your destination. A visual person needs to develop a business plan that includes charts, diagrams and possibly pictures. These visual cues will help make it easier to follow the plan to success. It may be a good idea to get some help with the number specific areas of your plan (like the finances) and then translate those into a visual chart.
2. Are you a numbers person? The directions printed off from the computer often include mileage details – take a left for 2.7 miles – that help the navigator know exactly where they are on any give stretch of the journey. People that prefer numbers will do best to put figures and percentages into the plan. Numbers people may face a challenge when it comes to goals and objectives because these can be abstract applications. This may be a good time to seek help from a business plan expert or from a mentor.
3. What is your business? Different markets will require a different focus. Online businesses have unique needs that physical businesses will not necessarily face. Understanding your business market will help guide you when it comes to developing your business plan. Speak to others in our industry to see what type of plan they have utilized.
No matter what type of person you may be or what your business, a plan will help you obtain your success. It may be possible to get there without a plan, but the going will not be as guided.
Tips for Building Your Business Plan
1. Develop a mission and vision for the future of your business. Think of these as the poles that will provide you with a compass when making decisions in the future.
2. Set up some goals for your business. Where do you want to be in one year, five years and ten years down the road?
3. Create steps (objectives) that will help you reach each individual goal.
4. Put together a budget so that you know what you need financially.
5. Research the market and use that information to develop a plan for building your customer base.
Each business plan should be developed with your specific needs in mind. Know what type of person you are so that the plan you develop will be one that you can easily follow. Understand your market niche and cater the plan to meet the unique needs of that market.
It helps to look at other business plans when you are in the process of developing your own path to success. Remember to take your individual perspective in mind and you will be able to build a business plan that works for you.
Mark has been blogging about best business practices for 3 years; he currently helps companies maximize their savings and also helps people with their GMAT preparation.