4 Easy Steps to the Perfect Business Plan

The business plan is the blueprint for your brand. You wouldn’t hop on a plane to take a trip without mapping it out first and starting a business is no different. Once you’ve decided where you want to go, you have to take some time to brainstorm a solid roadmap to get you there. A well-rounded business plan should keep you on track, foster alignment, set the tone for the business, and provide alternate routes that you can take to avoid getting stuck in a place that slows your progress.

It’s important that your business plan leave room for flexibility so that you can adapt in to changes in the volatile world of business. The more concise and flexible your business plan, the easier it is to focus on the key components that will get your vision up and running. Here are four words of advice for anyone feeling stuck:

  1. A vision is the foundation to your plan. Having the foresight to see who you’re targeting within the market, and an idea of how you want to get your product/service in front of them is imperative.
  2. Knowing who your competition is, what they’re doing, and how they’re doing it is essential to your business plan. Understanding your competition will serve as a resource as it allows you to create ways to deliver your product/service better, faster, and more efficiently than your competitors.
  3. Your goals and objectives have to be achievable. You should evaluate your short-term and long-term goals and incorporate them both into your business plan. Take the time to write out specific goals and then consistently assess and pivot as time goes on.
  4. You constantly have to ask yourself how you’re going to get your brand in front of the right people, so crafting out a strong marketing strategy is key. Knowing how to achieve visibility is one thing, but it doesn’t matter how many people your product gets in front of if they’re not interested in it.

Always be prepared to make amendments to your business plan. Times change, business changes, and your business plan will have to adapt accordingly. What worked last year may not work the following year. Thus, while your business plan is a guide, it’s a map you need to make annotations to as your business grows. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be elaborate—it can be a short, one-page guide that you can adjust as necessary.