Business Planning for the Home Business
Business planning is vital to help decide your company’s end-goals and to detail the ways in which you will achieve them. If you don’t have a plan, how can you know how to get there? For example, if you wanted to build a car, you wouldn’t just start with a few of the parts and try to fit them together. So why would you start your business without a plan? A plan will help you define whether your product or service is a feasible commercial opportunity. It will give you a success path to follow and a way to track your business. It is also very important in securing any funding that may be required from the bank/financial establishments. Which will help you gain support from potential suppliers and partners in the early days when your company reputation has yet to be built. Business Planning should Cover the following key areas I believe that a good business planning should cover 16 key areas which examine and focus your mind on the detail of your company, its growth and potential.
- Executive summary should always be at the top of your business plan. It is a few paragraphs which outline your business proposal. It should include:
- An overview of what your product or service is and its advantages,
- Who your team will be (if any),
- Your professional experience in the field
- Financial projections and
- Any funding requirements you may have.
The executive summary is usually the last part of the business plan to be written, once you have completed all the other areas, but it should always feature at the top of the document.
- Business type – this section requires a simple outline of your business type. Indicating what the trading activities of the business will be.
- Business Background – this should detail your experience in your new business area to show why you can drive your business successfully
- Business Aims and Objectives – specify what is it that you want to achieve from your company in measurable and achievable terms (SMART). Look at both the short (12 months) and long term business plan
- Products and Services – simply describe the nature of your business product or service
- Market Research – this section should include details of the research undertaken for your new business – this will establish whether there is a need for your service/product, what the competition might be and areas that you can maximise for success
- SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) Analysis – you should analyse each of the four areas internally for your business and against your competition. Don’t forget to look at and include any outside influences that are beyond your control.
- USP – this can be difficult. Take time to establish what it is that makes you stand out from your competitors. Think about why your company is different and why customers will want to buy from you.
- Marketing Strategy – this section should be based on both your market research and SWOT analysis. Understanding your marketing needs, target market, where to position yourself, costs, channels and messages will ensure that you avoid unnecessary expense and ineffective marketing
- Place and Identity – your place and identity paragraphs should describe where you are going to work from as a new business and any changes to this as you develop. It should also feature how you want to be seen by potential customers, customers and suppliers from your brand identity (logo, imagery etc.), to the experience that they receive when dealing with your business.
- Operations – including facilities, structures and procedures the business will have to deliver the product and /or service to the customer
- Legal Aspects – legalities that may affect your business such as health and safety, employment law.
- Cash flow, sales forecasts and profit and loss projections. These projections should show your expected trading activity (usually for the next three years). They must be realistic and achievable whilst being based on some sound research. If not banks and organisations of funding may not take your business seriously and therefore you won’t receive the capital you are looking for. Your business will also never achieve the goals and objectives set out.
- Break Even Analysis – This shows the Break Even Point of your business i.e. when the turnover will cover every cost of the business. This is a crucial figure because all businesses need to reach a stage where profits are made.
- Appendices – include all copies of relevant documentation to support each section as required in the appendices.
I hope the Business planning Ideas have helped and wish you every success in your business venture.
Stuart Ross & Jay Kubassek Founders of Six Figure Mentors & Digital Experts Academy
Jon Watwood Six Figure Mentors – Elite Founder Member Digital Experts Academy – Black Founder Member
Skype – jon.watwood
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