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Business Planning

As a business coach, one of the most important topics that I cover is the business plan - most people want to know why they need a business plan and what they should include in their business plan. Before we dive into the "what" of a business plan, let's understand what a business plan is.

A business plan is an essential document for anyone starting a new business, already in business, and critical for anyone seeking funding from a venture capitalist. The business plan needs to be comprehensive, well thought, and should contain sound business reasons.

Individuals could choose to hire a professional to write a business plan for them, or they could attempt to write their own business plan, making use of the excellent business planning software or books that are available.

Market Analysis

A market evaluation is a useful analysis of a company's success. It is a big undertaking but is invaluable. To conduct the analysis consideration needs to be given to a range of areas including sales figure, marketing goals, advertising content, and the media mix being utilized. An evaluation needs to be done of the marketing goals. First, the original marketing goals need to be examined and it has to be ascertained whether or not the business is taking that market.

Thought has to be given to decide if that is the most profitable market for the company. An analysis has to be made to show an increase or otherwise in the market share and by how much.

An analysis of the competition can be the most difficult section to work on when undertaking the writing of a business plan. Before analyzing the competition, they have to be investigated and before that can be done, they have to be found. To analyze the competition, it is necessary to determine why customers buy from then and also to gather information about their products and/or services, their pricing and promotion.

With the astronomically high failure rates for new business, it is obvious that in order to succeed new businesses need all the help they can get. A business plan is a written roadmap for a business, so proper planning is vital. Once formulated the plan should be taken to an independent accountant for them to assess. Always remember, the most important purposes of a business plan are to create an effective strategy for growth, to determine your future financial needs, and to attract investors and lenders.



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