A detailed business plan is important for any small business, as it confirms your vision and business direction for you, your employees and your customers.
It’s what drives your marketing plan (the outline of specific marketing strategies and tactics to drive your business toward your vision) and your sales plan (outlining the specific sales strategies, tactics and measurements for customer retention, customer acquisition and revenue generation).
Foremost, small business planning will answer the basic – but not easy – question: What business am I in? It forces you into deeper thinking, like:
- What is my mission statement?
- What is my compelling value proposition?
- What products and services do I provide that create sufficient value for my customers that they are willing to pay for?
It’s not surprising to lose sight of some of these small business planning basics over time and as your business evolves. A business plan is not intended to be a static document that ends up on a shelf. It should be dynamic and modified as your business conditions dictate, or if unforeseen changes occur. Like a puzzle, you will want to review and ensure that all the pieces are in place to provide your business with a direction that is realistic, actionable and achievable.
Once you have answered these questions and documented your business plan, you will be able to develop an integrated marketing and sales plan to support your business. As a final test to ensure that you’ve outlined an effective plan, make sure that each identified business strategy includes:
- Specific actions that need to be taken by whom and when to execute the plan. Are they realistic and doable?
- Identification of the people in your organization who need to be involved in the delivery of the plans. Do you have the resources to execute?
- Metrics. How will you measure success?
Ready to take your small business planning forward with fresh marketing ideas? Let us know. We can help you drive new sales and reach new markets to achieve your goals.