Don’t wait until your business fails to realise that you got it wrong! Business planning is a sure way to succeed in business.
It’s a common misconception that your business plan is only necessarily to apply for funding. This is very far from the truth; in fact I would say that funding is the last reasons for writing a plan. Your business plan is an essential document that captures exactly what your business is about, what is important to you and how you intend to make your business succeed. 80% of businesses without a business plan will fail within their first 5 years.
Writing something down is the first step toward making a dream a reality but sadly the number one business mistake is to skip the planning phase. If business owners understood the importance of their business plan, they would spend more time crafting it, fine tuning it, pondering on it and even workshopping it with other business owners.
Advantages of a Business Plan
- Clarifies your thoughts
- Creates a clear vision, purpose and strategy
- Identifies potential problems
- Minimises legal problems
- Forces you to be realistic about your money
Top Business Plan Mistakes
- Spelling and grammar is overlooked resulting in a sloppy plan.
- The plan is too vague or incomplete.
- Inadequate research is conducted.
- The company’s purpose/objective is vague.
- Unrealistic financials
- Ignorance of competitors
Top Business Plan Tips
- Be concise – be clear and get to the point.
- Be visual – use graphs, charts and pictures.
- Be creative – add your own personal touch.
- Be realistic – there is really no such thing as a ‘get rich quick’ business plan.
- Be open – ask for and value feedback from people you trust.
If you see your business plan as something that you have to do, and get bored with all the jargon, then what you write is probably going to be of no use to you. However, if you see the value of the business plan and that it can radically transform your business, you are more likely to enjoy writing it and you will be more passionate about sticking to it.
TOP TIP: Don’t rush your business plan – it is the foundation of your success.
Angela De Souza – Women’s Business Clubs