What to include in your business plan

December 13th, 2012

So you’ve decided that a business plan can be a working document for your business as opposed to a very flashy doorstop – the next question is what should it include & how detailed should it be?

Well that’s entirely up to you, but areas that I tend to look at when working with clients in the business planning stage include:

Contents for your business plan

1.    Executive summary
2.    Values, vision & mission
3.    Business overview
4.    Business strategy
5.    Marketing
6.    Team & management structure
7.    Financial
8.    Research & development
9.    Risk
10.  Green practices
11.   Community
12.   Summary

 Remember as mentioned in an earlier article ultimately your plan should be able to be condensed onto one page.

Each area above is then broken down into more detail (or as little detail that you want) but the aim is to take a detailed look into the various parts of your business.

For example when I look at the marketing side of a business I’d consider things such as:

  • SWOT analysis
  • Market research
  • Advertising channels
  • Sales & distribution channels
  • Strategic alliances
  • E commerce & technology
  • Promotional activity
  • Marketing budget
  • Company awareness
  • PESTLE analysis

So if you haven’t had time to stop & think about your business in a bit more detail why don’t you allocate some time, stop what you’re doing & give some thought to where you’ve come from over the last year, where you want to go, what’s gone well & maybe not so well & then put a plan in place for the coming year.

Change is the only constant in business & if you’re not reviewing your position on at least an annual basis you may find that your business environment has moved but you haven’t, which may have a detrimental effect on your business overall.

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