Similarly, setting goals in your personal life, a business plan is crucial to running a successful business. If you own a business or are starting a business, you will want to have a document titled, business plan. In my experience, you will want to review this plan at least once per quarter. As guidance to help you create a business plan if you do not have one, I laid out the crucial parts and briefly describe each one.
Defines business purpose. For example, a financial business can say to develop and implement financial solutions to assist small businesses leverage cash in the marketplace.
I typically divide out the business goals into long term (>5 years) and short term (<5 years). It is most effective to list a maximum of 3 goals per long term and 3 goals per short term. This will help you stay focused on the large priority goals versus a bunch of smaller goals with less impact on your overall business.
This portion is used to describe the beginning of your business and how it was created. The story can be used further down the road when selling your products to your customers. A good story about your company can help your customers better relate to your business and potentially persuade to purchase from you instead of your competitors.
Any additional information such as your business type, address, phone numbers, e-mails, and so on can be added into this section.
Personnel and organization
In this section, you would lay out the hierarchy of your company. You may even want to add specific areas of expertise for different departments and people.
This section lists the market you are selling to (i.e., food & agriculture industry, automotive industry).
Product / services
You would list out the products and services you are selling. If you sell 1,000s of items, then you may want to just classify the items into different categories.
This section would contain sales, expenses, profits, and any other financial information you find pertinent. You can list financials on how much you sell to the largest customers or list financials on how much you buy from the largest vendors.
Lessons & key takeaways
I am not sure if a lot of people put this in their business plans, but I find it very important. Since I update my business plan yearly, I like to list the lessons and key takeaways I’ve learned from the previous years. It has been quite helpful.
2018 plan to follow
This is another one that I am not sure if other people use in their business plans, but I also find this very helpful. This list is usually produced from the information collected from lessons and key takeaways. These are the things you will want to execute to make sure your company is successful.
The last thing I put into my business plan, which may or may not belong is big projects. These will be the projects I am pushing to complete in the upcoming year. I list out the project name, objective, and budget. This may be optional for your business plan, but I thought I’d mention it anyways.