Posted by Helen on Jul 12, 2019 in Business, Marketing, Careers, & Nonprofit Administration
Business plans serve many purposes for all sizes and types of businesses. Just because a business is small does not mean it doesn’t need a business plan and likewise, if a company already has a business plan updates are always good.
Your Business Plan Is Your Roadmap
Like a roadmap, a business plan serves as a guide to organize a company, determine where it is going and what the goals are. Whether the main objective of the plan is to raise funding, preserve corporate organization or be a reference for incoming employees, all companies need strong plans. Including small and micro-businesses.
Like a roadmap, a business plan provides direction on how to organize a company, determine where it is going, and what its goals are. You should have your plan in place as you form your business.
Raising Funds for Your Business
Having a business plan in place spurs confidence in any investor which may provide funding. Business plans serve many purposes for all sizes and types of businesses. Every business benefits from having a business plan and an overall strategy, which clearly maps out foundational items like budget, growth strategy and overall mission statement. Businesses of all varieties may have different business plans, but the overall foundation is the same. For example, a freelance writer who sells his articles to publications is his own business and will not need as comprehensive a plan as a tech company, which is seeking angel investments. Yet, both will benefit from a business plan. Both need to clearly explain their product, understand their target market, and develop a strategy which covers at least the next few years.
Avoid Pitfalls as You Launch or Build Your Business
There are so many pitfalls when starting a business, but a solid marketing strategy and business plan can help you navigate away from some of them. For example here are some common business and/or marketing issues a start-up may experience:
- The inability to attract new clients as quickly as desired
- Budgeting responsibly
- Time management on the part of the owner
- Lack of quality in work (due to lack of experience or time pressure)
- Client initiative slowing down or dropping off
- Inconsistent work load/clients too few or too many compared to capacity
- The desire to branch out into new markets without being ready
- Lack of communication to clients
- Slow ROI (return on investment)
- Reaching out to the wrong target market based on inaccurate research
- Inconsistent marketing efforts
Even if an existing company already has a business plan, it is always good to consider updates every year or two. Making updates to a business plan ensures that changes in social trends, economic changes and internal factors have been pondered. A business plan is a living and breathing creature and it will change with time. Yet, never be afraid of change, life is always changing and so does business.
Kristin Peregoy has over nine years of full-service marketing strategy and business development experience at the manager level. She has worked in the manufacturing, health and wellness, retail, and publishing industries. Her book, Fight Strategy: Knockout Marketing for Small and Micro-businesses, sells on Amazon. She teaches How to Write an Effective Business Plan at Colorado Free University. See her class offerings here.