Business Planning (Part I)
Does Your Business Plan Make a Profitable Statement?
Business owners need to develop a business plan primarily for two reasons:
- To provide a roadmap for the direction of the business,
and To use when obtaining financing from outside resources
If you don’t know where you are going in life or business, any road will do.
If you can’t describe your business clearly and simply, you simply don’t know your business!
One of the most common phrases that I have heard from entrepreneurs who are seeking help to get more sales, keep more customers or make more profits is “ what can a business plan do for me now that I have met all the requirements for obtaining financing.
But, if you have a mission (goal) to accomplish and others are relying upon you for achieving that mission, you need a comprehensive plan as well as the desire, determination and discipline to navigate the unpredictable roads to success. Discipline begins with developing a well thought-out and detailed plan (roadmap /guide). A business without a plan will never realize its full potential and it will be creating barriers to achieving its goals and objectives.
The business plan is the entrepreneur’s roadmap (compass). I t serves as the guide that reminds the business owner what the business is trying to achieve. Also, just as significantly, the plan will help owners establish and determine rewards for meeting / exceeding performance goals as well as the consequences for non-performance. A comprehensive business plan is the primary tool for monitoring and measuring the critical business factors so the business owner has the data necessary for making timely and effective changes to the business plan insuring continued success.
Before taking on the mission of writing a comprehensive and profitable business plan, a business owner must be able to answer and understand the following crucial seven statements:
- What is the business or what will it be?
- What products or services do you plan to offer?
- What markets do you intend to compete? What is the size / expected market share?
- How can you deliver your products / services better than your competition?
- What was the criteria for choosing your location?
- What type of management / personnel is necessary for your operation?
- What financing (or investors) is required to start and grow your business?
Together these statements will form the written policy of the business, risks you should not deviate from without data and compelling reasons. Policy establishes direction and lends stability to your business. Discipline and due diligence create the foundation for success.
Success is not something you are entitled to, it is something that is earned.
Bill, a colonel and head of the audiology clinic at a VA hospital for the last 10 years, had decided to retire from the Army and buy a hearing health clinic in his home town. After several months of inquiring and spreading the word, Bill was informed that a practice was for sale. He was excited about the idea and started the process of obtaining financing and starting his new career. His excitement and enthusiasm was based on his experience in the VA hospital system.
Although Bill felt he was more than qualified to buy the practice, the lender informed him that his presentation for obtaining financing was too general, lacked details concerning projected revenues, sales and marketing plans as well as specific goals and objectives. As a result, Bill was referred to me and we immediately started working on:
‘The Entrepreneur’s MBA’, Managing Business Activities, consist of ten modules and is supported with individual coaching. If you would like more information, contact:
Nick Callazzo, President and Founder of Resource Specialist
A consulting group that focuses on helping entrepreneurs improve the personal performance and productivity of employees and increase the profitability and their enterprise.
firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 610-580-6425 / 302-376-6108
Nick Callazzo has more than 30 years of experience consulting to banks, insurance companies and financial institutions as well as coaching executives to help them improve their personal and professional performance. In 1985, Mr. Callazzo founded Resource Specialists, a consulting group that focuses primarily on helping companies identify behaviors that impeded either organizational or personal success. A former U.S. Marine, Mr. Callazzo is currently working with FastTrac’s Entrepreneurial program for veterans in order to help them improve their business acumen and, possibly, their profit margins.