Important parts of your plan

Starting your own business is probably one of the most exciting times of your life.
However, it is also a time fraught with fear and uncertainty. It is essential to give your business every chance for success from the very beginning of your new venture. This is where a professional, comprehensive and strategic business plan comes in.

Let’s take a look at what you need to include in your plan:

Introduction
You may be tempted to start with the business vision and mission statement but although these are important components, you first need an introduction. If you’re trying to sell your business to possible investors or clients, your strategic plan is the first impression that these external stakeholders will be presented with. Because of this, you should mention why you’re doing the plan and who wrote it.

A bit of background
This is where you can go a bit more into detail. You can give a brief overview of what the business is about as well as its history.

Who’s who
Giving external stakeholders a chance to have a look at your company’s organogram is a great way to give them an idea of staffing numbers and designated roles.

Vision
As mentioned, this is a key part of your plan as it shows what the business wants to achieve or be known for. However, it is a short statement, approximately two sentences. You need to clearly, yet succinctly, define your business vision.

Mission
Your vision might be your goal for the future, but your mission is how you’re going to the reach that goal now. This explanation needs to be concise, and about three or four sentences long.

Achieving success
Here, you need to discuss how you will reach these goals in more detail. It might be useful to undertake a SWOT analysis of your company. Some business plans contain a separate problem statement section, which details any issues in the business that needs to be overcome. However, this will be encompassed within the analysis.

Goals and evaluation methods
This is where you detail your future goals in a manageable way. It’s best if this is separated into sections, i.e. monthly, quarterly and even annually. This could be in the form of a roadmap for easy reference. Each of these goals should be assigned to a certain person or team within the organisation. It is extremely important to discuss how the success of each goal will be evaluated and determined. This is where team, or personal, key performance indicators (KPIs) come in.

Summary
Again, being concise is key. Summarise key points of your plan in order to give external stakeholders a quick, yet through, overview of your business.

If you want your business to be successful, no matter its size, you need to have a clear strategy and train of thought, and action, in place. A strategic business plan can provide exactly that.