Brand Amp guide to creating an effective Business Plan
As a small business owner I understand the challenges small businesses face daily – what to prioritise, where to invest and how to maximise profit. A business plan is the key to answering these questions.
Lets be honest, writing a business plan is a daunting task and when you see long planning templates which require answers you don’t know – like how much you’re going to produce in the first year – it can be discouraging!
However, a business plan is essential… it is your map. If you start the journey knowing where you are going you will end up there – even if you need to detour along the way.
Every business plan begins with a SWOT – a review of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats ahead of your business. Grab a few trusted people – brainstorming is always easier with more than one brain – and develop your SWOT.
Remember strengths and weaknesses are internal or within your control, like staff training. Opportunities and threats are external and outside of your control, think of inflation.
Use the Brand Amp SWOT template – made to keep things simple. Once you have analysed your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats consider how you can improve the result, maximise the impact, minimise the impact, achieve greater margins etc.
Then in a realistic manner set out what you can achieve within in the next six months, what can be completed within a year and what needs to wait until the second year. And that is a business plan the simple, Brand Amp way.
Once you have written a business plan share it with a couple of trusted advisors and ask their feedback. Refine it and ensure it continues to evolve. If the market changes and new opportunities present themselves review your plan – let the business plan live and change but whatever you do, don’t let it gather dust! Remember to keep it close by and refer to it every so often. Stick it up on the wall by your monitor so you see it regularly or write a note in your diary to look at it every three months or so.
A strong business plan will allow you to:
• Grow your business
• Set objectives for staff
• Share your strategy, priorities and actions with your family (so they can remind you)
• Prioritise expenditure
• Manage your time and prioritise staff time
• Consider financing
• Plan succession
If you require support with business planning check out the great resources on http://www.business.govt.nz, or if you would like to see the Brand Amp Business Plan template contact me; Nicola McConnell firstname.lastname@example.org or 027 218 8120.