Developing a clear business plan is crucial towards getting finance and enabling your business to grow. The plan should be a living document that takes into account changes in the market as well as the financial situation of your business. A well thought-out, comprehensive plan will give the lender confidence in the projections made. Getting started is always the hardest part. Writing down what you do now and where you want to be in the next 12 months is a fairly daunting prospect.
1) Start with the basics
Who are you, where are you now, what do you do and where do you see yourself in the future. Consider the legal requirements for your particular business or industry. Be realistic. There is no point getting carried away with something that may not be a legally or financially viable.
2) Consider your product
Really think about what you are selling. What is it exactly that you sell, and who do you sell to? How do you get paid? Is there an opportunity to increase payment methods to keep up with the lightning speed with which technology is changing the way people conduct transactions? What are the terms of your business? How will you market your business or your new products or services? You may even be surprised by the floodgates that open when you really think about what you are selling.
3) Be prepared to adjust course
Your initial planning sessions should set a framework. A business plan is never set in stone, you must be prepared to make the adjustments if necessary. Market fluctuations or your personal circumstances may force you to rethink what you have written down, even a few months down the line. For now, you need to consider both sides of the coin. Don’t be so dead set on developing your idea that you dismiss possible hurdles. They will only catch up with you later. Consider all possibilities and adjust your plan accordingly. You may save yourself time, money and effort further down the line by going back to the drawing board if your initial idea isn’t coming together Growing your business will require you to think about what you do now, how you do it and if you can do it better. Writing a business plan can help you do that, even if you’ve been in business for many years, making it worth investing a bit of your time in it now.