Before launching a new business, you should have researched and analyzed every aspect of your business separately. The business plan is the culmination of this process in which you bring the separate pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together and see what the whole thing looks like. Think of it as both a blueprint and a route map to guide the business through the future. Just as you would not dream of building a new house without a proper blueprint or proper directions, you should not dream of launching a new business without a proper business plan.

A proper business plan:

enables you to review the business as a whole as well as each important segment.
enables you to spot strengths and weaknesses. You can use these to leverage opportunities and far more importantly, decide on how you are going to cope with threats. You can then prepare contingency plans and measures to deal with the situation.
help you to spot the areas that need to be beefed up possibly with the help of outside expert opinion.
provides the basis for taking important long-term decisions such as applying for business loans, recruiting your key people and planning for infrastructure and facilities.

There are many business plan templates and models available on which you can base your business plan. No matter which method of planning you choose, there are three key areas you need to keep in mind:

Business objective: Every business needs to have an ultimate goal towards which every aspect of the business is geared. Because the objective of business is to make a profit and create wealth, it helps if the objective is spelt out in financial terms. There are a number of profit and wealth creation measures available such as return on investment, return on capital employed, return on net worth, market capitalization and so on. Choose the measure that suits you best and preferably use a single measure to provide clarity.

Business strategy: If the business objective defines what you want to achieve, business strategy defines how you are going to achieve it. Whether this strategy involves sales and marketing plans or production and quality standards or a mix of several different strategies, you need to be able to demonstrate that the objective is achievable through the implementation of your chosen methods. The financial section of the business plan is the demonstration of your success.

Human resources: Because a business behaves just as people do, your available human resources will determine your ultimate success. For instance, there is no point in having aggressive objectives and strategies if you do not have the right people in place. Any new business plan that ignores this critical aspect will struggle to succeed.

When reviewing suitable business plan templates to employ in your business planning efforts, ensure the templates address the three areas above and you will be half way to creating a good foundation for your business.

(c) 2010 George Osawaye


George Osawaye – George Osawaye is an entrepreneur, executive coach and business consultant, specialising in business incubation, operations strategy and business optimization. He got exposed to the world …
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