Whether you’re starting a small business or exploring ways to expand an existing one, a business plan is a crucial tool to assist and guide your decisions. Think of it as a roadmap to success that provides greater clarity on all aspects of your business, from marketing and finance to operations and product/service details.
While some owners may be tempted to leap directly into startup mode, writing a business plan could be a crucial opening move for budding entrepreneurs to test the viability of a business before investing too much time or money. For existing small businesses, a business plan should be updated annually to guide growth and navigate the expansion into new markets. Studies show that almost 71% of the fastest-growing businesses have business plans, indicating that even existing businesses can benefit from updating their plans.
Your plan should include explicit objectives for hiring new employees, market research, financial projections, and potential investors.
Building an asset management business plan
Committing resources to capital improvements and new assets such as computers, software, or vehicles is not a straightforward decision for budget-conscious small business owners. A good business plan can also help you decide if it’s feasible to take on the extra office, retail, or workspace.
Creating a marketing strategy
Marketing and market potential are important aspects of a plan for aspiring small businesses. Getting your business in front of shoppers regularly is one of the keys to ensuring your business not only stays afloat but also thrives. Marketing strategies can be simple, but before you decide how you’ll get the word out, getting clear on your audience and why your business solves their problem can make sticking to your marketing plan easier.
Knowing your unique market positioning can help you determine your messaging. Your marketing strategy should include who your target market is, the platforms or methods you’ll connect with them on, and a measurement framework to see if your efforts are working.
Seeking investment for your business
In addition to providing a roadmap for progress and a marketing plan, your business plan can also be important in securing funding. Whether you’re seeking a credit line from a bank or an influx of capital from investors, a business plan that answers questions about profitability and revenue generation can make the difference between whether someone decides to invest – or how much they may favor investing. A study showed that companies with a plan were more likely to receive formal backing, such as funding, than businesses without one.
Hiring the correct talent
A business plan may also be needed to retain other professional services such as attorneys, landlords, consultants, or accountants. Sulzer used his business decision to secure a lease. For a small business to succeed, attracting talented workers and partners is of significant importance. A part of a business plan for hiring employees is to help bring in the right talent, from the executive level to skilled staff, by showing them the direction and growth potential of the business. It may also help secure vendor accounts, especially with exclusive suppliers.
Setting business plan objectives for management
Finally, a business plan can be important in providing structure and management objectives to a small business. It can become a reference tool to keep management on track with sales targets and operational milestones. When used properly and consulted regularly, it can help you measure and manage what you’re working so hard to create.