What Makes a Business Plan Effective?

It is common for Business Plans to fail in the market. Why? What is an Effective Business Plan? Here are some areas to focus on when creating your business plans.

The Right Business Plan Process

There are many business planning books available that try to quantify and explain the Business Planning Process. Some books claim to have the most comprehensive, final, complete and definitive Business Planning book. Some are workbooks or software designed to help you navigate the Business Planning Process step by step. Many of these books are well-researched and have great information. But they don’t help with the execution of a Business Plan.

After developing business plans for twenty years, I know only one method to create an Effective Business Plan. That is, a systematic, step-by step process using a workbook format. A good workbook for planning is clear, concise, and addresses all aspects of the business. It’s simple and easy to follow, and it covers every type and aspect in a progressive, step by step process. Once the Process has been completed, you can use a simple template or outline to package your business plan according to your specific needs. The workbook for a business plan isn’t finished. It also covers the Plan’s Implementation. A Plan is only effective when it is implemented. Only then can consistency be achieved.

Strong involvement and commitment

Your Executives and Managers must fully support and engage in the Business Planning Process. While business planning can be done from the top, it is also a bottom-up, top-down process. However, it requires the total commitment of all the company’s upper levels. Upper Management and Divisional Management need to be open to the Plan’s use to manage operations. The Plan will not work if it isn’t implemented throughout the company. Building your Company around the Business Plan Process is a great idea. It will help you weave your operations together. It’s a tool. Use it. It should be developed by key managers and employees. It is crucial that all levels of a Company are involved in developing a Business Plan. Otherwise, their commitment will be ineffective.

Realistic Long and Short Term Outlook

The Planning Process and its resulting Goals and Objectives and Tactics and Programs and Strategies must address the key factors that influence a Company’s short and longer term performance. Outlook is only a projection. Key factors that affect Company Performance are identified, then developed into an Action Based Strategic Plan. This will allow for increased Growth, Revenues, Performance and more. Good planning involves promoting a process at every level of the organization, from the product level through the marketing level up to the strategic/performance levels. The Strategic Tactics and Programs that a Business Planning Process produces are what will enhance performance.

Forward Thinking

Planning Process examines backwards and looks for lessons that you can apply to your future success. More importantly, however, the Planning Process must look forward. It must identify opportunities, trends, and developments in your market. You will be able to create a process that is forward-looking and implement it into your company’s operations. The past is the enemy of a business. It is a company that remains stuck in the past, its achievements and the status-quo. Without a plan within the Company to create solid forward thinking and predictable growth.

Performance targets for the company

Your company’s Goals. Strategies. and Performance Objectives must be consistent throughout all of your operations. The Plan should clearly show your company’s direction to all employees, customers, suppliers, strategic partners and other stakeholders regarding future performance goals. Without your people supporting the Plan and its implementation, you won’t be able to reach that goal. Your Company must be able to show Brandon Long Marketing Consultant and accountability towards your Customers, Partners, Suppliers, Markets, and Customers by “owning” your future Performance Objectives and Milestones. A well-executed Business Plan will apply consistent Business Models to a constantly changing market, allowing you to realistically reach your future performance goals.

A Process That Constantly Evaluates a Plan’s Assumptions

If key assumptions in your Business Plan prove to not be valid, an Effective Plan will provide specific contingency systems and processes to guide you. An Effective Planning process will allow you to identify potential problems and put in place contingency plans to help minimize the company’s learning curve. Uncertainty is a guarantee of success in business. Effective business plans are well designed and have processes and systems in place to handle unexpected events. This will make a potentially costly event into a profitable opportunity. A solid business plan will help you design and create a Company Structure that can produce a product or service that is competitive and effective. This product or service will have a solid marketing plan and be successfully implemented into an effective Strategic Plan. It will produce expected, realistic, and attainable financial goals.

Business Plans with Specific Purposes.

A solid Comprehensive and Internal Business Plan, which is well developed, will provide the foundation necessary for successful financial resource acquisition through an adapted External Funding Business Plan. The Comprehensive (Internal), Plan is what makes an organization effective. It then leads to the viability of different External Business Plans. Plans for Funding, Customers, Suppliers, Markets, Regulatory purposes, etc. A good business planning workbook will provide a step-by step process to create the Global Plan that you need to manage your business. You can easily “package” other External, Ancillary Plan from the Global Plan. It is difficult to build an effective External Plan without the Comprehensive Internal Plan.

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