It is unfortunate that so many people think that business plans are for start-up businesses only, to support loan applications or to attract investors. The truth is that business planning offers serious benefits to everyone in the economy.
And I want to emphasize that none of these benefits require a large formal business plan. A lighter business plan (like what kind of business plan is best for me) is usually enough. It takes an hour or two to do the first plan, then only an hour or two to revise and revise on a monthly basis.
Here are the top ten benefits.
1. See all cases. Well-done business planning connects the points of your business so you get a better picture of the whole. The strategy should refer to strategic tactics. Does this appear in your plan? Are your sales related to your sales and marketing expenses? Are your products suitable for your target market? Do you cover costs, including long-term fixed costs, product development and working capital requirements? Take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
2. Strategic orientation. Start-ups and small businesses need to focus on their specific identities, target markets and products or services.
3. Set priorities. You can not do everything. Business planning helps you to follow the right things and the most important things. Give your time, effort and resources strategically.
4. Manage the change. With a good planning process, you regularly review assumptions, track progress, and capture new developments that you can adapt. The Plan analysis in relation to the actual analysis is a dashboard and the personalization of the plan is taxing.
5. Develop responsibility. A good planning process sets expectations and tracks results. It is a tool to regularly check what is expected and what has happened. A good job appears. The disappointment is also obvious. A monthly overview of the well-executed plan with plan and real is included in an impromptu review of tasks and services.
6. Manage the money. Good business planning combines the points in the cash flow. Sometimes, just look at the profits. But when it comes to account sales, physical products, asset purchases, or debt repayments, cash flow requires planning and management. Profitable companies suffer when customers pay slowly or store too much cash. A plan will help you see and adapt to the problem.
7. Strategic Direction Is your daily work consistent with your key business tactics? Do these tactics fit your strategy? If so, you have a strategic direction. Otherwise, activity planning will reveal hidden discrepancies. For example, if you operate a gourmet restaurant with a transparent window, you are not in the right direction.
8. Milestones Good business planning establishes milestones in which you can work. These are the most important goals you want to achieve, such as reaching a set turnover level, hiring the sales manager or opening the new site. We are a human. We work best when we have visible goals that we can achieve.
9. Metrics Enter your performance counters and accounts into a business plan where you can view them every month in meeting planning. Find out which numbers are important. Sales and expenses are usually possible, but there are also calls, trips, seminars, web traffic, exchange rates, returns, etc. Use your business planning to define and track key metrics.
10. Realistic regular memories to stay on track. We all want to do everything for our customers, but sometimes we have to push back to maintain quality and strategic direction. It is difficult to remember priorities and focus during the daily routine. The business planning process becomes a regular reminder.