- You’ve put a lot of effort into creating your Business Plan and you may now be wondering how you are going to use it – especially if you are not seeking financial assistance, partnerships or investors. Let’s go back to something we said right at the beginning of the course:
Developing a Business Plan will: help you set goals and think out how you intend to reach them; give your business more focus and direction; and will help you assess your business idea and work out problems before they occur.
- Let’s look at each of those points separately.
Developing a Business Plan will help you set goals and think out how you intend to reach them
- We asked you back in a previous lesson to set the big guiding objectives you have for your business: your goals. We also asked you to put some measures around the goals in order to track how successful you are at reaching them. Once you launch your business, it is time to start to actively track your results against those measures to see if you are on target. By regularly updating your Business Plan with your findings, you will be able to refine your goals further for your second year of operation. You may wish to change them to be more manageable, specific or aggressive for instance.
Developing a Business Plan will give your business more focus and direction
- There are times when you may feel a little lost during your first year of business. This generally comes 6-8 months in, when you have recovered a little from the busyness of launch and are getting into the daily swing of things. Routine can be useful but for the entrepreneurial mind it can also be a little tedious. At this time it is good to remind yourself of your initial excitement for your business. Go back and reread Component 3 in its entirety. Your business vision is designed to motivate and inspire you: use it to reignite your energy.
Developing a Business Plan will help you assess your business idea and work out problems before they occur
- The creation of the Business Plan should have helped you come to a conclusion regarding whether or not it is a project you wish to move forward with. If you have decided to do so, then by thinking through marketing, sales and risk strategies, it should also be your first port of call should you run into a problem. Be pre-thinking the major issues that may occur, you are then best placed to move through them successfully.
- You should think of your Business Plan as a set of well thought out guiding principles. Not only are they there to present a convincing business case to an investor, supporter or financial institution; but they are also there to help guide your business in the right direction and assist you to move through issues should they arise.