Business Plans For Dummies (UK Edition)
Having a stable, thorough and thoughtful business plan can help you to boost your business and survive in the long term — whether your company is in the UK or elsewhere. When drawing up your business plan, considering all the essential angles and elements can ensure the stability and prosperity to guide your company onwards and upwards.
Reasons Why Small Businesses Fail
Many different conditions can cause a small business to fail; some of the major reasons may be down to one or a few of the following. Safeguard your business by making sure you don’t fall into any bad practices such as these:
Lack of a long-term company vision
Failure to establish clear goals and objectives
Misunderstanding what customers want
Underestimating the competition
Inadequate financial planning
Lack of strong leadership
Ineffective procedures and systems
Absence of critical business skills
Inability to change
Failure to communicate the plan
Checklist of Small Business Planning Essentials
When planning your business make sure that you have all the elements covered so that you can achieve optimum performance and results – ensure you don’t miss out any of these planning essentials:
Get everyone involved in setting goals and objectives
Learn all you can about your customers
Understand who your competitors are
Identify your strengths and weaknesses in relation to opportunities and threats
Determine which capabilities you absolutely need to succeed
List all the things that you do that add customer value
Make sure that you do your financial homework
Imagine several different versions of your company’s future
What Makes a Business Work?
The successful running of a business is made up of certain major factors and elements, allowing it to adapt, survive and ultimately grow. These key elements should feature within any progressing business:
Plans: Company mission, vision, goals, and objectives that all work together
Organisation: A structure for your company that makes sense
Procedures: Efficient and effective ways of doing things
Leadership: An ability to influence and encourage others around you
Skills: The talents and expertise your people need to succeed
Culture: Beliefs and attitudes that lead to doing the right thing
Customers, Competitors, and the Businessperson
The customers, the rivals and a successful business model are the three major focal points that a business needs to analyse, consider and respond to respectively. Here are three questions to think about on each:
Three customer questions
Who is buying?
What do they buy?
Why do they buy?
Three competitor questions
How big are they?
Which customers are they after?
What is their strategy?
Three ways to win as a businessowner
Cut costs to the bone
Offer something unique
Focus on one customer group
Major Pieces of a Business Plan
Business plans are made up of several uniquely important corporate factors and processes. The following are the major elements of a company's business plan documents: