FREE Business Plan Template and Workbook
Download a free copy of your workbook for 2018 now!
Why Do You Need the Business Plan and Workbook?
Your plan will solidify where you want your business to go, what you want to achieve to get there, the resources that you have in order to get you there and the challenges you are likely to face on the journey. The Workbook will help you to write SMART goals and objectives for 2018!
Identifying potential threats is one of the most important factors in business survival. It allows you to be prepared proactively, rather than reactively.
It’s also a great way to share information about your business, to develop your thinking and test scenarios before you make any changes (like leaving your job and going it alone), and it gives you a way to measure how things go when you do start up.
But even with all these benefits, research from Barclays highlights 1 in 4 businesses doesn’t have one in place.
What to include
Your business plan should be tailored to your business, and the information you require. By creating clarity, it becomes much easier to engage and communicate your benefits to customers. Here are some common details that help encompass your vision.
An overview of the business – what does it do and what makes it different? How do you put customers at the forefront of your business?
❄ Goals – what does the business want to achieve? This should set some SMART objectives that will quickly show if the business is succeeding.
❄ Your audience and the market – who will your business supply and how will it reach them? For example will you be utilising Virtual PA, introducers or advertising?
❄ Products and pricing – what will you be selling and how will your prices be set? How does this compare with your competitors? How do you stand out from other advice businesses?
❄ Financials – provide details about sales, costs, break-even points and where investment will come from.
Some business plans will include other sections, like a SWOT analysis or a full marketing plan. You might find these useful for your business, so feel free to include them too if you wish.
How to use it
Business planning is a continuous process. The world changes at a fast pace and your business needs to ensure it doesn’t get left behind. A business should always have a long term strategy to complement their shorter term plans, and the plan ensures these can be met.
Here are some ways your business plan can work for you:
❄ Review your sales and expense estimations against the actual numbers. Are you achieving what you set out to? Were you too optimistic in your plans and need to review? Did you underestimate? Revise your numbers to ensure you can manage cash flow effectively.
❄ Evaluate your plans monthly to understand where the business is excelling (and are there any further opportunities here), and where the business is not achieving (and whether the challenges mean a change in tactic or halting resource in this area).
❄ Utilise your feedback from Insight within your plan to ensure you continuously improve and align your business to customer demand.
❄ Analyse the market, technology and competition annually and update your plan as required. This understanding simplifies any key decisions that need to be made in your company.