Whether you’re pre-launch or up and running, a Business Plan can be a valuable asset in helping you achieve your business goals. We can often get tunnel vision and focus in on one aspect of our business, whereas a Business Plan urges us to articulate the full picture – and often upon doing so, certain things can come to light that wouldn’t otherwise. And addressing those things sooner rather than later could be vital on your journey to success.
However, writing a Business Plan can often be a daunting task for business owners. Here, we break it down into the 6 key questions your Business Plan should answer.
Who is your customer? This should be as specific as possible. Knowing as much as possible about your target market is key. For established businesses, revisiting this often can provide valuable insight and direction for growth as your target market may shift over time.
What problem do they have? And what is your solution? The foundation of a business should be to solve a problem or a need that someone has. Hence creating their willingness to pay for something. The problem you are solving and the suitability of your solution needs to be clearly articulated to validate your business proposition.
Why will they choose your solution over alternatives? This is key in identifying your competitive advantage. If there are alternative solutions out there at the moment, what is your USP (unique selling point)? And can it be protected (could someone else do the same thing)? When considering alternatives, keep in mind that it does not need to be the same type of product/service as you’re offering, it can be something different that serves the same need – think wider. Again, this one is worth revising often for established businesses as the competitive landscape can change drastically from when you originally developed your product/service.
How will you deliver your product/service? Defining how you will manufacture, deliver, and operate your business is essential in determining feasibility. For businesses that are already established, focus on operational efficiency when addressing this one – is there a better way of doing things now?
Where are your customers? Where do they hang out (either in person or online)? This is key in determining how you will connect with them and this will underpin your marketing strategy. This can change over time and something definitely worth revisiting to ensure your marketing is targeted appropriately.
The How Much
Finance = the language of business? If the function of a business is to make a profit, the figures need to prove that the business is feasible and sufficiently profitable to make it a worthwhile investment, whether your own or an external investor’s. This is often the piece that people are most afraid of – but help is available. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone who can assist. Yes, financial projections are hypothetical in nature but the better your inputs, the better your outputs for this one – something that’s definitely worth putting the time and effort into because when it comes to uncovering financial issues, sooner is always better than later.
Here at Fluent we provide various services to support you in developing your Business Plan, whether that be review & feedback, drafting your Business Plan in full, or just completing the financial projections for you. If you’re in need of assistance, get in touch to discuss how we could help you.