Having a good business plan should not be considered a straightjacket, but as a way of ensuring that everyday activities happen in a structured way. Well managed businesses will see a plan as a framework providing the ability to be flexible and responsive when opportunities arise, without being blown totally off course. Knowing that the bulk of your activities are performing according to plan will give you the freedom to explore those opportunities.
The successful businesses that survive and prosper are those that meet their customers’ needs by offering benefits to them at prices which not only cover the costs of providing the features but also generate a profit. Your task is to effectively match the business’s competences (that is, its knowledge, expertise and experience) and resources with the opportunities created by the market place. In other words, businesses should be market driven.
A good business plan is a complete description of a business and its plans for the next one to three years. It explains what the business does (or will do if it’s for a new business); it suggests who will buy the product or service and why; and, it provides financial forecasts demonstrating overall viability, indicates the finance available and explains the financial requirements.
Information and advice on what you should include in your Business Plan.
Luke Boulton-Major shares his opinions and experiences on business planning. Luke won a Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas Award in June 2010.
How to describe the Value Proposition of your business to customers, clients and potential business partners or investors by Steven Leach (UnLtd) for Shell LiveWIRE.
The Business Planning and Marketing calculators by Bplans.co.uk can be used to quickly and easily evaluate different aspects of your business.
Louise Broni-Mensah of online ticketing company, Shoobs.com, gives us her top tips for success in the entrepreneurial world.