Helping Small Business to the Next Level

Business Plan- Why Do I Need One?

By kevin • April 19, 2013 • Filed in: Uncategorized

As a business planning consultant for 15 years and a manufacturing business owner for 6 years I have been on both sides of the business plan, that is helping clients with theirs as well as writing it myself for use in my business.

Is the business plan important?  It depends upon how it is assembled and if it contains meaningful information.   Many business plan templates come pre-loaded with the latest buzzwords and phrases and the whole thing can be made by plugging in the company name and logo and “presto” a plan is created.  I have seen many narratives that mention being an industry leader and providing top notch customer service.   This kind of stuff is meaningless unless some good information that is relevant to the market is present.

For example we always are trying to define our target market.  If it is a consumer market what are the specific demographics of this market and how will we reach them?  In our manufacturing business we can define our commercial markets very precisely.  For example if we are selling tents to mom and pop rental stores in the Midwest we can search a database and break them down by NAICS code (North American Industrial Classification) for type of business, geography, sales, and a host of other variables.  We can obtain a mailing list, contact them by phone or email or otherwise get an offer to them.  This is an example of a market that is quantifiable and reachable.

Lately we have seen more of the business model canvas and it deserves a look.  It is a one page planning document that addresses key partners, activities, segments, revenue streams, cost structures and related information.  It is less cumbersome, more direct and to the point and more likely to be used as a day to day roadmap for the business.  More on this later!!!!



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