ALL COVERED: The business plan outlined diagrammatically.
ALL COVERED: The business plan outlined diagrammatically. Thinkstock

Planning is of the essence

Long-range planning works best in the short term. - Doug Evelyn

AS A business person, it is imperative to have a business plan and a business direction. Any successful business will plan the future of their business, and how they are going to achieve what they want to, not only to be successful, but sustainably competitive in the long term. So, what sort of information should you put in your business plan?

In short, your business plan is the statement of your business goals over a stated period. Your business goals will be clearly stated in terms of how they will be achieved, who is responsible in the business for their achievement, and how the goal achievement will be measured. Your business plan is a strategy document that can be used internally, or externally, it should be a document that your staff support, and use, and it should be a document that you are happy to share with your clients, if and as required.

Specifically, each function within your business should be covered in your business plan. The financial function, the human resources function, the supply chain function and the operations function, among others, should all be detailed in relation to how each function works independently and collaboratively to achieve the long-term goals of the business. Staff growth over time, capitalisation during strategic periods should also be major focuses within your business plan.

So, how do you build a business plan? There are three ways you can do that. Firstly, you can start from scratch, on a blank canvas, and build it from the ground up with all of the relevant information that you want to include.

Secondly, you can find a template, and customise it to meet your requirements. This is a good option, if you are starting the planning process for the first time.

Thirdly, you can engage a qualified consultant, such as The Guinea Group, to help you develop it. We do that work for businesses if and as required.