Many entrepreneurs do not realize the importance of a business plan. Nor why they should update it even after they have registered their business. Or how often they should revise their business plan as they grow in their business.
What is a Business Plan?
A business plan is a road map taking you on the fastest and straightest route to where you want to go.
It consists of six basic sections as follows:
Section 1 – Executive Summary: This presents an overview of your business and is most important as many persons will judge your plan based on that alone. Always start it with 1 sentence that describes what you do. You should leave this section ‘till last to write as it should contain the key points from the other sections.
Section 2 – Business Details: This is a short description of who you are, what you plan to sell, list your products and services (plumbing, electrical, masonry etc.), why and to whom.
Section 3 – Marketing and Sales Strategy: This is where you show you have really done your homework and understand your target market. Outline why you think people will buy what you are selling and how you will sell it to them.
Section 4 – Management Team and Personnel: Identify key employees. Remember volunteers and other part time persons can be included so if you have a cousin that can help you do your books include them, a friend or neighbour that has experience in OHS – include them as your OHS advisors. You will be surprised how your “employee” list will grow if you start to look at the skills within your immediate circle of friends and family. Get references from previous jobs as people need to know and trust your credentials.
Section 5 – Set Up: Where do you operate from and what do you own – this includes all your tools remember without your tools you cannot work, it is your asset. Today there are so much way for a business owner to connect to their ideal client. Remember if someone cannot find you they will find some else to do the job. Always keep this in the back of your head “people work hard to earn their money and do not want to work hard to spend it”.
Section 6 – Financial Plan and Projection: This is the part that translates everything you have said to numbers and will tell if the business is worthwhile or whether you are wasting your time and money.
Reasons to update your business plan
Your business plan will change as your business grows, you get more jobs and gain more experience. When you acquire assets – tools, trucks etc. remember to add them into your projection as your business grows.
Remember to update your plan every year if possible. It will keep you focused and you will know where you are, where you are supposed to be and correct your course if you need too.
Five tips to remember:
- Keep it short, if it takes too long to write, it will take too long to read. Remember the important of the executive summary.
- Get rid of the fluff. Cut to the chase. Get to the point.
- Be realistic, be honest and note the challenges facing your business. (Backhoe)
- Use visuals. Take selfies while on jobs. Use graph and charts.
- Be creative so that business stands out of the crowd.
THINK BIG, GROW BIG. REFERENCES! REFERENCES! REFERENCES!