5 Ways to Ensure an Effective Business Plan - dummies

5 Ways to Ensure an Effective Business Plan

By Steven D. Peterson, Peter E. Jaret, Barbara Findlay Schenck

Part of Business Plans Kit For Dummies Cheat Sheet

No matter whether yours is a new or existing business, effective business planning is essential. Not only do you need to put time into the planning process, but you need to involve the right people as well. Effective business planning combines common sense and a few basic strategies:

  • Set aside enough time for business planning. The time you spend will save you far more time after your business is up and running.

  • In the planning process, involve everyone who will ultimately help make your plan happen. Good plans should guide and inspire.

  • Set clear goals and objectives. Make sure you have measurable outcomes and feet-to-the-fire timelines.

  • Gather all the information you need. An effective plan depends on a complete and accurate understanding of your market, your customers, your financial situation, and your business environment.

  • Write a plan that people will read. A business plan only works if those in your target audience — whether investors, prospective partners, board members, key staff, or others — actually read and understand it, so you need to create a plan that’s concise, complete, and readable.