“A good plan is like a road map: it shows the final destination and usually the best way to get there.” – H. Stanely Judd
A business plan is more or less like a blueprint for the business. A good one is that, which wins over investor confidence and is an anchor in times of need to the organisation.
If you are considering writing a business plan for your business, here are some practical tips you can use:
- Understand your customer–
A plan that clearly states what it aims to do for the end user is certainly a great one. It will help all stakeholders who read the plan to gauge the target audience of the business.
- Spend some time on researching the competition–
You must be able to identify the other market players who can prove to be a threat to your business. Stating this will help your team to watch out for moves made by competitors and act accordingly.
- Collect solid proofs to back up every claim–
If you analyse performance numbers and project them in your plan, ensure that you have an evidence to justify why you think you will be there. This will only add to your credibility and win over others’ confidence.
- Be conservative in your approach–
Big promises are good to make and easy to break! If you feel you’ll win over ‘x%’ of the market in the next six months, project it at at least 15% less. Doing more than you promised is always great but doing lesser might result in losing credibility in the market. The buffer 15% will help to deal with unforeseen changes in the market.
- Don’t forget the ‘WIIFM’ factor–
In today’s world, everyone asks ‘what’s in it for me?’ Create your business plan keeping in mind this individual gain factor to get the best results out of your investors, bankers and employees.
- Differentiate your idea–
A well thought of business plan not only articulates the vision and strategy of the business but also differentiates its offerings. It lays down the USP clearly and states why there’s no other like itself in the market.
- Follow the KISS (Keep it simple, silly) Approach–
Avoid making it too complicated for your stakeholders to understand what the business plan is saying. Aim at being concise and get to the point quickly.
- Use powerful visuals–
Visuals help to attract attention and also stick in the minds of the readers. They will not only help to lighten the text-heavy plan, but also visually support and explain trends and processes well. Images, pie charts and graphs can help to simplify tough theoretical concepts.
- Think out of the box–
Anyone can make a business plan, but no one can do it like you! Put on your thinking cap and add a personal touch to your plan. Let the creative juices flow and come up with innovative business ideas to put your best foot forward.
- Plan for change–
A business needs to embrace change in order to be successful. Design your business plan in a way that it can be updated from time to time.
Keep the business plan document alive and open to change.
Do consider these points while writing a plan for the business. And, if you already have one, do check if it covers these aspects!