When you build your home you employ various specialists to assist you to ensure that the plans are drawn up accurately and you know exactly what materials you need to purchase and how much it will cost you. You will also know how long it would probably take to build your house.
These plans include so much detail of your interior finishing’s that you can create a very vivid picture in your mind as to how it will look when you’re done. Would you leave this planning and project management to chance or to haphazard decisions? I doubt it!
Why then should you not have a business plan for your business? Your business has taken probably more of your hard earned cash as well as sweat equity to build yet very few entrepreneurs take the time to draw up a plan and then use it regularly to ensure they keep on track to reach their end goal. Most business owners will tell you their plans are in there heads!! It’s safe up their! Is it really?
Entrepreneurs are highly energetic and have lots of very innovative business ideas. Excitement and enthusiasm and the need to just go for it is what describes how an entrepreneur feels he or she has struck that golden idea (or ideas). This is what sets an entrepreneur apart from most of us. This is what makes the entrepreneur take risks.
Taking risk is good, but the risk must be a managed risk. You invest your money and your time into a venture you expect to grow and provide you with a living and a good pension one day. You should treat your investment with care.
For any business, new or existing, a business plan is a vital component of the decision making process. It should be your blueprint to making your investment grow. It shouldn’t sit in a file and never read. Neither should it be written in the confines of your memory. It should be written in a document to be shared with your management team and staff to ensure that all your resources are managed by the people you employ with the desire of achieving the goals set out in that plan. It allows your teams in departments to align their efforts with you goals.
The following are the main elements of a Business Plan:
- Cover Page
- Executive Summary
- Business Overview
- Business profile
- The product or service
- The entrepreneurs
- The management structure
- Sales and Marketing Strategy
- Financial Statements
- Legal and regulatory environment
- SWOT analysis and risk/reward assessment
- Appendices and supporting documents
Over the next few weeks we will be looking at the various elements that constitute a business plan and why they are important. We will also discuss where to find vital information regarding markets and trends. We will also try and help you to do a SWOT analysis on your business and then implement the SWOT analysis, empowering you to make intelligent decisions about your business.
Hopefully we will demystify the business plan for you so you can understand why it has the power it has and also realize why it will help you acquire funding for your business. In the meantime you are welcome to access our website to find out more, on www.businesspartners.co.za