How Business Planning Will Help You
You have an idea to start up a business, or maybe you are already trading, but not convinced that you need to be business planning. Then read on to find out a few basics and get access to a simple model that will help you with your process.
What’s the big idea behind business planning?
There is a lot more to running a good business than having a good idea. My own experience suggests that putting a plan together is not always an easy thing to do on your own. If you are like me, then do not worry we can offer you some help to get you started or offer some helpful support and challenge to the ideas that you have developed so far. There is also a handy document that we can send to you to get you started.
We have helped quite a few people work out with their business planning process to develop their physiotherapy business practice. We make a real difference to the performance of their business. So, you are in good hands.
Some people think that you only need a business plan if you want to convince the bank to loan you money for your business. Whilst this is true, it is not the primary reason to commit your ideas to a plan. Better business planning will help you to turn an idea or a current operation into a more successful business. A plan will help you to maximise your chances of developing and growing a successful business. To paraphrase Alice in Wonderland – if you don’t what direction you want to go in then any direction will do! Here is a link to an article on some other reason to write a plan. 5 reasons to write a business plan
Using a business planning model will help
Following a model will help you to think through all of the key parts of the business planning process. It will help you understand how your business needs to work and what will need to have a greater chance of success. Although it is in principle a straight forward process it can take a while. It will take some soul searching to define what you are really aiming to achieve, and the effort to realise your ambition. This is why I personally find it easier to phone a friend and ask for help along the way.
It can often feel a bit daunting and a lonely place to be as you site an stare at a page. Believe it or not, this is a perfectly normal feeling. However, it is the point where some people can be also put the ideas back in the draw or close the word document. I have been there too! It is not a great place to be, but must not be shied away from if you want to improve your chances as an entrepreneur.
Working through the stages
A business planning document is a process that takes you through a series of stages that will bring a sense and some organisation to your thinking and establish your business idea. For more established businesses it can help you to work out how effective your current business model is working and how to improve.
Some people are put off by the idea that you have to write pages and pages. Being concise is a good thing. It’s important that what you write down can be shared with a range of people. Get a clear picture of your new idea, or how your plan to grow your business. What exactly it is that you are selling to the market place? How much will you charge for your services, and how will it make money?
The more specific that you can be in developing your thinking and your ideas the better the chances of success. Unfortunately, quite a few people have a romantic dream about a business idea and run straight into setting up a business without really thinking the process through. It is an expensive way to learn what works and what doesn’t!
Know your Competition
So, understanding your local market place and who your competition is will give insight into the potential viability of your plans, and how you might differentiate what you do. As part of our support for business owners, we run several short programmes that help business owners gain better insight into creating and maintaining a great customer base. Why not follow this link to find out more.
Understand Your Cashflow
I know business owners that work all hours, skip holidays, and try to do everything themselves. Believe me, it’s not a good plan. Others pick a price out of their head and charge what seems fair. The risk is that you will have no idea what it costs you to run the business and importantly make money.
I worked with someone recently who lost money every time they sold a product! Scarily, they did not know that they were losing money, because they were making lots of sales. So, understanding what it costs to run your business and how you will make money is critical to your success.
Your business plan is your road map and itinerary to get your business idea from concept to reality. It must be a well-thumbed document that helps you keep honest with yourself about progress towards success. Just like any plan it needs to change to account for different market conditions. However, if you don’t put the effort into describing what you are aiming to achieve and how you will know when you get there then it’s all down to chance. Your business idea is better than that!
Do you What a Business Plan template?
Then just ask firstname.lastname@example.org