Recently, myself and my good friend Oluwatobi were so desperate to start our company but we got little, infact there was no cash on us to actually do things we have to do. Fortunately we have a registered company name certified by the Cooperate Affairs Commission (CAC) so we came up with a few documents among which is the Business Plan.
Think out loud, is it really a Business Plan, or a fund-raising tool? Our Business Plan is suppose to be a guide; a road map of our business that outline our goals and details on how we want to achieve those goals. In fact, a business plan is much more than that: Its a tool for understanding how a business will operate, it helps to monitor progress, hold yourself accountable and control the business’ fate. And of course, it’s a sales and recruiting tool for bringing together key employees or future investors. The success of your business is determined by how convincing and realistic your business plan is.
Writing out your business plan forces you to review everything at once: your value proposition, marketing assumptions, operating plan, financial plan and staffing plan. You’ll end up discovering areas you would have missed. For example, if your marketing plan projects 10,000 customers by the end of the first year and your staffing plan provides for just two sales persons, that forces you to ask: How can two sales persons generate 10,000 customers? The answer might lead you to conclude that increasing the number of your staffs, forming partnerships, targeting distributors and concentrating on bulk sales to large companies would be your best tactics.
As part of your operational plan, you’ll lay out major marketing and operational milestones. When you eventually become the CEO, the only person to hold you accountable for the result you get on a daily basis is YOU. So your plan becomes a baseline for monitoring your progress.
And of course, a well-written Business Plan is a great tool for attracting partners, investors, sponsors or volunteers. When a prospect ask to understand your business, you can handover a plan that gives an entire overview of your business. Their reaction will tell you how viable and how they think your business will thrive in hard times. This will give your business a competitive edge over other businesses.
Oooh I guess you don’t even know how to write a Business Plan, here is one of the tool that help us to prepare ours. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PDWvcsTloJo
So viewing your plan as a fund-raising tool is just the beginning of the story. You’ll use the plan for so much more; for managing yourself, for operating the business and for recruiting. Before deciding to skip your planning phase, consider all the implications and what they mean for your future success.
Image Source: Google.com