Business planning is an important aspect of running a successful business. It may become difficult to achieve business objectives and goals without proper planning. Planning is required at each stage of business operation. Planning is directly linked to resource arrangement and utilization. Planning is future oriented.
Nowadays, even small businesses invest significant time in developing business plans to deal with future uncertainities and handle complex issues with minimum problems.
A business plan can help the company in maintaining a check on the performance of various business activities. It can also include SWOT analysis indicating internal strengths, weaknesses, external opportunities and threats.
Four Important Steps In Outlining Your Business Plan
Decide Coverage Of Business Plan
The scope of business plan should be defined in advance by the management. It should be clearly specified as to whether the business plan is developed for a specific period, project, process and so on. It should be ensured that all the important aspects have been covered in the business plan.
For instance, details like costs associated with a proposed business, expected increase in revenue from the proposed business and so on should be included at the time of developing a business plan for a new business proposed to be undertaken by the company in the near future. Business plan can include financial projections. Further, it can be used to outline the roles and responsibilities of all the senior level personnel in the organization.
Assign Responsibility For Development
It is the responsibility of management to assign responsibility for development of business plan to skilled executives. These executives can be internal employees or consultants from outside the organization. It is necessary to consider the background and experience of these executives before assigning them the responsibility. Management can also participate and contribute their ideas in meetings held for the purposes of developing the business plan.
Depending on the scope of business plan, strength of business plan development team may vary. For instance, a simple business plan may be prepared with the help of one consultant, while a complex business plan may involve four to five employees from different departments or divisions.
Follow Proper Format
It is important to develop the business plan in an organized manner. All paragraphs should have proper headings. All important points should be highlighted. Further, all points should be sequentially numbered. An index can also be prepared at the beginning of the business plan with important heads. Annexure can also be included at the end of the business plan with details on abbreviations (if any) used, references and so on.
Quality and usability of business plan can be enhanced by following a proper format. A properly developed business plan can also be used for making presentations to investors, banks, venture capitalists and so on for raising funds. Use of graphs, diagrams, pictures and so on can add more value to the business plan.
Review Business Plan
Business plan can be developed in phases and should be reviewed constantly. It is important to remove unnecessary details from the business plan.