Have you ever wondered how businesses like Netflix, Tesla, Spotify, Airbnb, etc., have grown since their birth? The credit goes to their effective long-term business planning. Over 71% of fast-growing companies have business plans, and rightly so.
So, how can you help your business to be fast growing and deliver an impactful business plan? Let’s find out.

What is a Business Plan?

As the name suggests, a business plan is a strategic document telling you what you need to do for business. It highlights your company’s goals and steps for achieving them in a definite time frame.

In short, a business plan is like a road map covering financial projections, market analysis, and organizational structure-like aspects for your business, which helps in making informed decisions and your business to successfully develop.

What are the six steps to a well written business plan?

Here’s how you can write an effective business plan for your startup:

1. Mission statement

Nobody can commence a story if they don’t know the ending first. Similarly, a mission statement explains the real purpose of your business. Just think about why you started your business and how you would like to end it; that is how you will develop a mission statement. Knowing your business values and goals can also help you envision your mission statement, which should be at most one sentence.

2. Vision statement

Next, you need to imagine the impact your business will bring to the world once you’ve accomplished your vision. State this impact in the form of ‘we will’ statements and keep it within three sentences. It is what you call a vision statement.

3. SWOT or market analysis

For any business plan, market analysis acts as a core. Keeping your mission statement in mind, analyse your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It will help you identify your competitors and determine how you can stand out from them by working on your weaknesses and taking advantage of your strengths to seize opportunities and overcome threats.

4. Plan development

Here comes the crucial step. We suggest selecting about five key items from each SWOT category and aligning your points in the following way:

  • Maximise your strengths
  • Rectify your weaknesses
  • Utilize your opportunities
  • Overcome the threats

For example, you can focus more clearly on your project by delegating your finance management to good accounting services in London, keeping your eyes explicitly on your core business. You can also delegate your tasks more strategically to reduce risks and maximise profit in your business. Being positive and realistic can be critical to your plan development.

5. Setting a budget

Business plan development without deciding on the budget is like toasting bread without a timer — the result is likely to be burnt and unusable. A sensible budget will help you express your business plan more confidently, persuading you to review your expenses regularly and make better financial decisions. You can also outsource the budget to an accountant to save time.

6. Write up

Now that you’ve got everything ready on your table, it’s time to put it in writing. Compile the SWOT analysis, plans, goals, forecasts, budget, and respective tasks for each team and share it amongst team members to get input and feedback. Make sure it’s a living document so you and your team can make timely adjustments and review it monthly.

Summary

For any startup you own, you will need an effective business plan to make it effective and well run for the long term. It’s better to develop regular business plans and adjust according to your business’s needs and circumstances. However, while your plan may change, the six basic steps for creating an effective business plan shared in this article remain constant.

 

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