Often the biggest decisions you`ll make for your business are amidst volatile periods of growth, decline, or even external crises. This requires you to make highly consequential decisions far more quickly than you may like. Without up-to-date planning and forecast information, these decisions may be less certain or strategic than they need to be.
Whether you are in the beginning stages of starting your own business or planning on taking it to the next level, you will need a clear and informative business plan. `What is a business plan?` you may ask. In short, it is a comprehensive guide wherein answers to the questions and problems you will face in each stage of growth are laid out in detail.
Now, you may not have every milestone or even specific steps in mind to reach your goals before starting. But that`s the beauty of working through your business plan. It will help you define metrics of success, flesh out your goals and further develop elements of your business to meet specific objectives. You just need a vision or even aspirational goals to start with to better hone in on what`s important.
By having a written business plan that you`re regularly reviewing, you can make confident decisions. You`ll have all the information necessary to know when you can hire new employees, launch a new product line or make a major purchase. At the same time, you can also plan ahead in case a decision doesn`t work out as expected, minimizing your potential risk.
You can skip the executive summary (or greatly reduce it in scope) if you are writing an internal business plan that`s purely a strategic guide for your company. In that case, you can dispense with details about the management team, funding requirements, and traction, and instead treat the executive summary as an overview of the strategic direction of the company, to ensure that all team members are on the same page.
If you expect to be the market leader in 2 years, you need to demonstrate why this is possible and how you`ll meet this goal. If you say your product will be viral, you have to support this statement with facts and a strong analysis explaining why people will like your product or service and how they`ll help you promote it.