Writing a business plan is a fundamental step to en-suring your business has every chance of succeeding.Common statistics state that 9 out of 10 businesses fail on the first 5 years of operation, and of the re-maining 10%, 90% fail in the following 5 years
Why? There may be a number of reasons - from poorcustomer service,inadequate product,poor logistics man-agement and costcontrol. However, thenumber of businessesthat do not definetheir goals and mapout their path tosuccess is phenomenal. Taking thestep to define your business goals,plan where you want to go andwhat you want to achieve will placeyou in an increased position of fu-ture success and realization of yourdreams.Below is a list of the areas you needto consider when writing your busi-ness plan. These steps will helpdefine the business goals, the rea-son for existence (of the business),and define the direction you willtake.
Step 1- Define your vision
You may know inside your headwhy you want to start a business, and what businessit will be. However, your staff will not know this infor-mation, and after a time, you too will also forgetsome of the details. Write down what your mission isyour purpose and vision for the company. This setsthe tone for all business and actions taken on a dailybasis, working toward achieving your mission andpurpose.
Step 2 - Set your goals and objectives for the busi-ness
Think big. Do not let your own limitations impact onwhat you think your business is capable of achieving.Define what you short (less than 12 months), me-dium (1-3 years time frame) and long term goals(usually 3-5 years timeframe) will be. Think of topicssuch as how much revenue do you want to generate?How many outlets will you have? How much passiveincome will it produce for you in the future? How manycustomers on your database will you have? What willbe your geographic area of influence? These goals willbe a combination of your personal goals for your ownlife blended with that of the life of the business.
Step 3 - Define your USP
In order to stand out form the crowd, it is imperativethat you know and define your USP Unique SellingProposition. What it is that you offer and provide thatis different to other people in the market? It may bethat you offer additional services to your core product;it may be that you have a more personalized customerservice approach; it may be your after sales service andwarrantee on the product. What is it that your cus-tomer will be attracted to above otherbusinesses offering the same serviceor product? Once you know this, thenyou can use it as a focus for your cus-tomers to recognize you and remem-ber you.
Step 4 - Know your market
Have you ever thought up a brilliantidea and began to investigate it, onlyto find out that another business hasalready started with that exact sameidea? This happens daily to many peo-ple, but do not be discouraged. Themarketplace is huge and can support anumber of businesses providing thesame service. Look at petrol stationsand dry cleaners as an example. So, get to know themarket your market. How many competitors are there?What do they offer? What have the trends been in theindustry? What might be the future trends and pre-dicted growth/decline of the industry? Are there anybenchmarks you can base your business performanceon, such as profit margins, expected turnover per busi-ness size, and so on? Once you have a broader pictureof the market you are entering into, you will be betterequipped to handle and maximize your potential busi-ness growth.Contd…
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How to Write a B-Plan
Business planning is a vital component of starting and growing a successful enter- prise. Many different varia-tions of business plans ex-ist, so you must carefully choose the right one that serves your purpose and enterprise. A well-executed business plan will enhancethe odds that your venturewill take a successful pathand satisfactorily fulfill your goals.
The successful person makes a habit of doing what the failing person doesn’t do - Thomas Edison
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