How To Write A Business Plan
Writing a business plan is a fundamental step to ensuring your business has every chance
of succeeding. Common statistics state that nine out of ten businesses fail in the first five
years of operation, and of the remaining 10 percent, 90 percent fail in the following five years. Why?
There may be a number of reasons - from poor customer service, inadequate product, poor
logistics management and cost control. However, the number of businesses that do not define
their goals and map out their path to success is phenomenal. Taking the step to define your
business goals, plan where you want to go and what you want to achieve will place you in an
increased position of future success and realization of your dreams.
Below is a list of the areas you need to consider when writing your business plan. These
steps will help define the business goals, the reason for existence (of the business), and
define the direction you will take.
Step 1. Define your vision
You may know inside your head why you want to start a business, and what business it will
be. However, your staff will not know this information, and after a time, you too will also
forget some of the details. Write down what your mission is - your purpose and vision for
the company. This sets the tone for all business and actions taken on a daily basis, working
toward achieving your mission and purpose.
Step 2. Set your goals and objectives for the business
Think big. Do not let your own limitations impact on what you think your business is capable
of achieving. Define what you short (less than 12 months), medium (1-3 years time frame) and
long term goals (usually 3-5 years timeframe) will be. Think of topics such as how much
revenue do you want to generate? How many outlets will you have? How much passive income will
it produce for you in the future? How many customers on your database will you have? What
will be your geographic area of influence? These goals will be a combination of your personal
goals for your own life blended with that of the life of the business.
Step 3. Define your USP
In order to stand out form the crowd, it is imperative that you know and define your USP -
Unique Selling Proposition. What it is that you offer and provide that is different to other
people in the market? It may be that you offer additional services to your core product; it
may be that you have a more personalized customer service approach; it may be your after sales
service and warrantee on the product. What is it that your customer will be attracted to
above other businesses offering the same service or product? Once you know this, then you can
use it as a focus for your customers to recognize you and remember you.