Business plans are critical to the success of any company. While you don’t have to have all the answers when you start, you should know what you want to do and how you will do it in a general sense. Creating a business plan also makes it easier for investors and lenders to figure out how your business is going to make money today and into the future. How do you write such a plan?
Identify What Your Business Does
What does your business plan on doing? Will it offer a service or sell a product to its customers? Companies that sell products need to determine if they will store the product itself or whether it will rely on dropshippers to help with inventory. Other questions to answer include whether the company will create physical or digital products and what level of rights a user will have when a digital product is purchased.
Who Does the Company Serve and How?
The next question to answer is who the company is going to cater to. This is important because it will determine how you brand your company and how you will market. In some cases, you may need to market to multiple groups to effectively get to your target market. For instance, if you sell kids’ toys, you will need to market to the kids and their parents who actually make the purchase.
How will the company serve its customers? Some companies will make and service their own products while others will outsource customer support to third-party call centers. It is also a good idea to consider whether it will offer live support online and through social media in addition to traditional phone and mail methods.
How Does the Company Overcome the Unexpected?
A business plan should consider what would happen if another competitor entered the market or something else happened to disrupt the market. Options to deal with disruptions may be to pivot toward turning your product into a service or lowering your price to keep your customers happy and acquire larger market share.
Whether you are a startup or an established company, you should have a business plan. It will guide you to many of your decisions involving when to roll out a new product or how you will advertise to your target market. While the plan doesn’t need to be overly complex, it should answer the relevant questions and be clear enough to be of use to yourself and anyone looking to join forces with your business.