The first of a 3 part series
A business plan is simply a plan for a business. Makes sense. It is accepted that a business plan is good business practice. It is also widely recognised that only a small percentage of small businesses have a business plan.
One of the main reasons we have come across for not having a business plan is not knowing how to start a business plan. This is understandable. Just the thought of writing a business plan is enough to turn most people off. But it shouldn’t be that way, the easiest way to get started with business planning is to keep it simple and relate it to a planning exercise that you’ve many times before.
For example, a holiday. Think about the process you go through when you want to organise a holiday. Each of us may go about this process differently however as long as most of your holidays are deemed a success, then you are a competent planner.
With the holiday scenario some of the broader things you consider is the type of holiday you would like to have. A summer holiday by the beach, or winter in the snow. A set destination to spend the bulk of your time, or a road trip where multiple locations and the journey are a major part of the holiday. Overseas or domestic, car, plane, boat or train. These decisions set the type of holiday you will have and provides a framework for decision making to determine the details of how you will achieve the type of holiday you want.
How to start a business plan
Why not make your business planning process follow the same formula? Think about the type of business you want. Do you want a business that makes a lot of money regardless of the consequences. Do you want a business that is financially sustainable in the long run through providing excellent and unbeatable customer service to detriment of high profits? Do you want to make a little bit from a lot of customers, or dedicated to a few large clients with higher margins. Do you want an eco-friendly business, a part-time business, a brick and mortar or completely online. The list goes on.
Once you have established what you want your business to become then you can start working on the details of how to achieve this. You now you know how to start a business plan, so keep going to develop your business plan.
This type of business plan is 100 times better than not having a business plan