5 Important Things You Need in Your Business Plan

Many consultants, service providers, and industry experts have their own advice when it comes to business plans. Some opt for flashy presentations that revolve around target markets, and others are more detailed and central to various parts of the company. But one element remains consistent: a business plan should be a dynamic document that not only receives attention from company leadership, but also reflects a strategic plan that can be adapted to forever-evolving business and economic conditions.

Below are some key elements of planning that owners, management, and other key personnel should always take into account (regardless of industry).

Products and Services – List unique features, differentiators, patents, copyrights, lists of suppliers, etc.

Thorough Market Analysis – Think about your market space. List current and prospective targets, existing clientele, feedback surveys, letters of intent, and competing companies or ideas.

Market Strategy – Discuss how you’re planning to sell and market your product. This part of your business plan often includes product pricing plan, business cards, marketing collateral, methods of selling, and credit-and-collection policies. Describe where, when, and how often you plan to touch these markets (and include the cost of sales).

Current and Future Management Plans – Not only is it a best practice to have a plan with a 3 to 6 year vision, but also include tactical planning and actionable items for the next 12 to 24 months. Clearly define relationships with suppliers and distributors and include written plans for human resources, marketing, finance, data management and other essential systems. Licenses/permits, legal structure, insurance coverage, and rental/lease/purchase plans should also be covered.

Financial and Data Planning – Complete a 3-year history of sales records, profits, tax records, bank statements, and other pertinent or relevant financial documents. It’s also advised to prepare projections for payables and receivables, aging reports, cash flow documentations, and comparisons against previous plans.

Want to know more about bringing your idea to the marketplace?
Download our Commercialization Matrix. It clearly presents planning and issues owners should have command over and provides 10-step plans for inventing and innovating, protecting intellectual property, manufacturing, and marketing.

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Posted by Liz Fox in Innovation

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