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Whether you are contemplating embarking on a new business venture, expanding a current organization or product line, purchasing a new business or reinvigorating a business that is in decline, it is essential that you have a Strategic Business Plan. Far more than a tool that can be used to get financing, a Strategic Business Plan provides a platform through which you can communicate plans that up until now have been nothing but loosely formulated ideas. Having a Strategic Business Plan that is thorough, accurate and well-articulated allows you to ensure that all of your business partners and thought leaders have a clear sense of where you want your company to go, and keeps everybody on the same page and focused on the same vision.
A Strategic Business Plan provides a snapshot of your company and where it is going. It spells out what your company is, what product or service it provides, what the competitive environment consists of and how you plan to thrive. It identifies the company’s management team, outlines the known risks and details the company’s financial health. With this information at hand you are able to:
- Define your target customer and identify the ways in which your product or service will fulfill their needs.
- Provide documentation of the research you’ve done into the need for your service or product, thus creating a justification for your plans.
- Create a strategic marketing plan with detailed descriptions of your planned campaigns, promotions and timelines. You will also be able to utilize the competitive environment information to assess what the sales potential is, analyze the market conditions and how best to target your demographic, and to establish predictions and goals for your efforts.
- Draw up a staffing plan that includes details regarding the level of expertise needed to support the organization, as well as the number of employees needed and what their skill set needs to be.
- Create a management plan complete with descriptions of individual’s responsibilities and timelines.
- Project start-up costs, operating costs, projected revenue and profits for an extended period of time, and other financial planning information.
- Create a list of your business’ needs, from building and equipment to vendors and supplies.
A Strategic Business Plan is one of the most important and effective tools you can provide yourself for projecting your business’ financial needs. It will provide you with a clear perspective of what is needed to ensure your business’ success, as well as providing lending institutions and investors with the information that they need to make prudent decisions.