Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Time to Revise the Business Plan... Again!

The days of the 5 and 10 year business plans are long over.

In today’s business climate everything is changing at such a fast pace.  Business owners need to review their plan to determine what has already changed and forecast what could change – competition, technology, demand for the product or service of the business, etc. 

The typical business plan will include many of the following categories:

¨  Vision and Mission Statements
¨  Market Analysis
¨  Marketing/Sales Strategy
¨  Competitor Analysis
¨  Financial Plan
¨  Budget
¨  Timelines
¨  Business Model
¨  Industry Analysis
¨  Trends Analysis
¨  Action Plan
¨  Executive Summary
¨  Milestones

However, before you begin, I would suggest you challenge yourself to address the following questions and you will find the rest of your plan will become crystal clear by its conclusion:

1.    What burning need does your business resolve for your customers?

2.    What would you have to change to double your number of customers?

3.    What makes your product/service different compared to your strongest competitors?

4.    What are you doing to make your business less dependent on you personally?

5.    What are the market opportunities/threats for the Business?

6.    Who are the key employees in your business and what are you doing to find more like them?

Plans must be updated and must be realistic for the foreseeable future.  Start today and set a deadline to complete.  Business owners find that investing in strategic planning not only improves their management practices, it can improve the desirability and value of their business as well.

Do you have a small business question you would like answered about this article or others?
Bill Sivell is a salesperson with VR Windsor Inc. [www.vrwindsor.com] 519-903-7807, which sells businesses to buyers across Canada and around the world. His 14-year career includes diverse senior management positions in marketing, advertising, sales management and operations management. His blog appears every Tuesday.


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