Whilst business plans can be important for acquiring financial backing, they have so many other benefits that are often ignored. By going back to basics and drawing up a detailed strategy for yourself and your business, you will spot things that are working well for you, and things that aren’t, and may have previously been overlooked. Here are four benefits of creating a watertight business plan.
You can find out new ways to improve your business
To create a business plan, you will be sat down, systematically looking at every angle of your business- from your advertising to the product itself. You might discover that something which you previously considered beneficial is not actually bringing in that much revenue after all. For example, costly marketing channels may no longer be attracting the customers that you need them to. Through discovering this, you can decide how to go forward and improve for the future.
Your plan will clearly outline where you are losing business and because of this you can improve and alter existing approaches to create a more profitable company, and allow you to see all of your processes in a more granular way.
You can present ideas to others and gain feedback
After creating a business plan, you can use it to find out the opinions of others. You will be able to easily point out new products you plan on implementing, and what profits you forecast them to generate. By showing these to a variety of people, you can get clear feedback and opinions that you may not have considered yourself. Using a business plan will give people a very precise idea of what you propose for the future, and therefore they will be able to offer you the most detailed advice.
You could show your plan to:
Business partners and colleagues that you trust – As your colleagues and partners directly interested in your business plan, they’re going to have a lot of input if you open the floor up to include them. Make sure you want to hear it though. A business plan is quite personal, but you must be prepared to receive some criticism and comments. Those you work with are the best for the job.
Your target audience – If you create a focus group filled with people who are the same demographic as who you want to target, you will get some very helpful reactions. These will be the people who are going to be purchasing and using your product, so if they look at your business plan and offer positive feedback, you know you’re onto something profitable that they actually want. However, even if they look and aren’t so keen, they will be the best people to help you improve so listen carefully to their suggestions.
Show your plan to venture capitalists – If you show your plan to a venture capitalists, not only could you get valuable feedback you wouldn’t get anywhere else, you could also encourage investment. Even if they aren’t taken by your business plan, they will soon tell you why and probably in very blunt financial terms. This may seem a brutal option, but these people are experienced and knowledgeable, anything they tell you will surely help your business to thrive. Coming back to them with their suggestions in place could be what it takes to secure their backing.
You could also show your business plan to potential new employees, if they look through it and seem excited for your company’s future, and eager to be a part of it, you will know that they are the right person to help your business prosper. You might find that interviewees or even existing employees can also offer some great and exciting ideas that you hadn’t considered.
You can evaluate everything in one place
From creating a business plan, you will get a great idea about how your whole company flows and things that you didn’t previously think were connected will all begin to link up. It can be really beneficial having everything in front of you, rather than just analysing small segments one at a time.
Set goals and track your progress
One of the best things about having a business plan, is that you can set yourself goals for the future. This is always a great way to work as it will motivate you, and in turn, your team. If everyone has a clear aim, they can do everything in their power to achieve it and guarantee success for your company.
These targets will also help you to track progress. Even if you aren’t hitting your objectives, you can use your plan to discover why. Maybe it’s time to hire some more staff, or maybe you are being too harsh on yourself by having unrealistic expectations. Whatever the reason may be, through your organisation, you will be able to quickly identify the problem and amend it.
If you want any advice about how to write a business plan, the government’s website has some great tips and templates that you can look at here. Alternatively, if you have written a business plan and want some funding to help put all of your exciting ideas into practice, Capify offers an innovative loan product where you are able to raise anywhere from £3,500-£500,000. You can find out more about this by clicking here.