Behind most every successful small business is a well laid business plan. It’s the cornerstone foundation to help you keep your business moving towards your goals. There are right and wrong moves to make, though, when creating this critical plan you need to know about. Keep reading to learn which moves you should and shouldn’t make.
Do’s of Writing a Small Business Plan
Do Take Your Plan Seriously. Whether you’re a true believer in the power of business plans at this point or not, if you don’t take the process of creating a plan for your business seriously, you’re simply spinning your wheels and wasting your time.
Do Include Flexibility in Your Plan. Every plan needs a little wiggle room in order to adjust and correct as it goes through various reality tests along the way. Goals change. Events restructure expectations and contributions. Natural disasters occur. Be ready to adjust your business plan when this happens.
Do Revisit Your Plan Frequently. Just like you review your business insurance policies annually, you should revisit your overall business plan annually and your annual business plan quarterly. This gives you an opportunity to make adjustments. Note things that are working and seek new ways to improve things that are not.
Do Be Specific When Establishing Your Plan.An effective business plan answers all the relevant questions about the plan so that nothing is left to chance or inference. These are just a few questions your business plan must answer.
- Who is responsible for what actions?
- What actions must happen to carry out the plan?
- Where will the actions happen?
- How is each step in the plan to be carried out for maximum impact?
- Why is each step necessary?
- How much is this plan going to cost?
It’s only when all parties know their roles in the execution process that they can properly carry them out. This is also how you make sure every person is accountable for his or her responsibility.
Don’ts of Writing a Small Business Plan
Don’t Have Unrealistic Expectations. It’s important to remain grounded in the realities of your business, the economy, and local laws and regulations throughout the process of establishing your business plan.
Don’t Make Guesses about Numbers. Arm yourself with the facts about your finances, income, expenses, and products. Don’t make guesses. The wrong numbers could lead to fatally flawed planning on your part that will place your business at risk.
Don’t be Inauthentic.Keep your business plans real and focused on the business at hand. Don’t forget about the people you’re marketing your products to as well as the people you depend upon to make those products.
Don’t Forget to Get Feedback. Before you go public with your business plan or create some sort of manifesto, make sure you let someone you trust look it over and provide meaningful feedback.
Planning is just as important as investing in sufficient business insurance. Failing to do either places your business in serious risk.