Your answer to the following question is the difference between the long-term success of your Business and not reaching it’s full potential.

Do you have a Business Plan?

I often meet business owners who have made the mistake of thinking that a business plan is a single document created when they’re first starting out and then set aside; something to check off the to-do list and forget about. A lot of owners have never even got as far as creating such a plan, diving straight into business with the ‘plan’ in their heads, believing it to be a waste of time.

In actual fact, a business plan – when created and implemented correctly – acts as an invaluable tool, a practical and thorough document outlining and exploring every aspect of your business from a competitive analysis through to financial projections; from a SWOT analysis to a plausible exit strategy. I can confidently say that nearly all experienced business experts agree on one thing: the importance of a business plan.

I spend a fair amount of time working with business owners on their business plans, prioritising its creation and evaluation as one of the first steps on the roadmap to true success. We start at the beginning – discussing, verbalising and writing – resulting in a comprehensive document, which is regularly revised and used as a guide.

A common perception is that writing a business plan takes a lot of time and effort. I can’t argue with this as, in order to produce a truly useful document, it needs to be all-inclusive and complete. It may be time consuming, but nothing worth having ever comes that easily.

It is your responsibility as a business owner to invest your time in the right kind of exercises that will provide strategies for long-term growth. With the right support by your side – someone who knows what they are doing, and has the tools to generate a well-designed document – the process is significantly shortened and transforms into an exciting and motivating task.

Viable businesses are dynamic; changing and growing. Your original business plan needs to be revised as new goals are set. Reviewing the document in this way allows you to see what goals have been accomplished, what changes need to be made, or any new directions your company’s growth should take.

Key Takeaways:

  • A lack of a thorough, properly created business plan acts a huge barrier to success
  • View a business plan as an investment of your time. An investment that is more than worthwhile
  • Although it may seem like a time-consuming task, creating a business plan will prove invaluable in the long-term
  • Want to add significant value to your business, and eventually sell it for as much as possible? Create and regularly revise a business plan
  • The process of writing a business plan clarifies where you’ve been, where you’re going and how to get there
  • Writing a business plan should be exciting and motivating. With the right support from an experienced coach the process is significantly shortened and becomes a positive experience

I provide tailored coaching, taking a flexible approach to business planning with my clients. Depending on what is most suitable in terms of time requirements and your stage of growth, I offer a less comprehensive business planning workshop in addition to the full process.

So, have you got a business plan? If not, why not? And if you have, are you using it as a strategic tool?