What does a business plan include?
The following is a list of the matters that should be addressed in a good business planning process:
- The History of the business, recognising what has made it the business it is today and how these events may influence its ability to compete effectively in the future
- Strategic Analysis and Thinking about the market in which you have chosen to compete and how you will position your business. This includes consideration of:
- the marketplace, its characteristics and factors influencing it
- your competitors and where it is best to position your business to deliver greater value to your customers.
- Your Organisation, its vision, values, culture and structure so as to ensure it is capable of delivering the customer value proposition you have developed.
- The Future, the growth opportunities you have identified and the impact of various scenarios on your performance.
- Financial Validation and ensuring the expected financial returns are acceptable and achievable.
- Risk Mitigation and understanding clearly the risks involved in the business strategy and developing mitigation strategies (contingency plans)
- Implementation and understanding what it will take to make it happen and deliver your strategy. This includes a Goal Achievement Plan which maps out the actions and steps to be taken, their timing and the outcomes to be delivered.
Now you may be thinking that your business is too small to go into so much effort. Not true. No matter how large or small your business is, the questions remain the same, it is only the complexity in the answer that may change.
We have spent a morning with a business owner and developed an effective strategic plan for their start-up business and we have spent several days in China with a global management team developing their business strategy – the questions remain the same.