How to write a Business Plan
Writing a business plan can seem daunting, you can sit there pen and paper at hand and then writers’ block sets in…..so what do you do?
That’s exactly how I felt when it came to writing my own, most of my plan was written on scrap bits of paper, tucked into a notebook and there it stayed, until I decided to sit down and write one.
I went to a seminar on how to write an effective business plan and I took a lot from it, I came back and started to draft one up and before I knew it, I had written version one which I was quite proud of.
It’s good to remember that when you’re writing about your own business that you’re realistic about your goals, targets and timescales. Above all, the plan you’re writing has to be personal to you, after all, it’s your business you’re planning.
Start with the basics, what your business is, number of employees (if any), where you’re based, what services you offer etc and your objectives. Include your own experience in the business you’re writing about, how much you’ve spent in starting your business and what the ongoing costs are (income and expenditure, service pricing, capital etc)
Then hit the details (here you need to be realistic and set expectations that can be achieved). Your plan should include how you promote and advertise your business (social media, networking, marketing etc), your projected income and cash flow and ongoing strategy.
There’s a lot to write about and you won’t get it right first time (I was lucky to have mine checked over by a business coach who looked it over and gave me tips on where to improve my plan (I’m working on version two) but having that support there and having someone outside of the business objectively look over my plan really helped me and gave me ideas of what else my business can offer and what I could do to make it a sustainable business through time.
It definitely takes time to write a plan and you’ll use it as a working document. My business coach suggested that it should be used whenever you have a ‘board meeting’ so that you can review it and work on the areas that you haven’t quite met your objective on and equally be satisfied when you have. I’ve looked at mine a few times – just to see how I’m doing against my plan and its pleasing to see that I have improved on some areas and making headway to improve others.
So if you’re stuck with your plan or on the cusp of writing one, I hope I’ve given you a guide to the basics you should add. Remember don’t let it gather dust, use it and rework it, your plan will grow just as your business will!
I attended a Pro-actions seminar (add web) and Scott Whitehead is an excellent coach who can help guide you and your business in the right direction.
Did I help give you food for thought? If you’ve got a question, leave a comment and I’ll get in touch!