Running a business is no easy feat. Running an efficient and profitable business is even more difficult. But creating a strong business plan could be the key you're missing. Before thinking about working on a plan for countless hours and completely redoing your business, take a moment to step back and breathe.
A business plan isn't meant to stress you out and have you finding weak spots. They're designed for you to find the positives in your business, build upon those, and strengthen any areas which may need improvement. Your business plan should act as a map of your business' activities and include short and long-term goals.
What's in Your Short-Term Plan?
Your short-term goals should be relatively easy—a perfect way to start your business plan! First, think and determine how much you need to make in order to break even. Once that's determined, how much do you want to make for the year? Now that you know how much you need/want to make, you need to think about how you can achieve those goals. Will you need to hire additional employees, how many new clients will you need, will you need new equipment and vehicles to accommodate these goals?
In addition to your business, think about your competitors as well. Are they trending upwards? How will you keep them at bay and ensure you're able to achieve your goals? Knowing what your competitors are doing will help you design your short-term goals and provide you with a clearer path on how to achieve them.
What are Your Business' Long-Term Goals?
When it comes to your long-term goals, what direction do you want to take your company in? Do you want to expand, sell it, have a family member inherit it? How many employees do you want, how much do you want to make over the next several years, what do you want the company to be worth?
The long-term goals are a bit more in-depth, but this will provide you with a much better picture of your business moving forward. You'll also be able to look at future expenditures and budget better. Maybe you'll be able to put in the soda machine at work your employees have been asking for!
If you're looking to build your business over the next several years, what measures will you need to take? You'll most likely need to hire new employees to take on the extra work—which means more trucks to be added to your existing fleet.
If you're looking to sell your business, you'll want to make as much money over the next several years to make it as profitable as possible to increase its value.
If you're looking to hand the business off or take a back seat from the daily stress, you'll need to ensure everything is in order and everyone know what's going on. Nothing is worse than coming into something new and having to pick up the mess someone else left.
Why your Business Plan Matters
The purpose of the business plan is to provide your company with a structure and give employees assurance knowing what's going on and where you want to take the company. Think of it as a dinner date. You could drive around looking at restaurants in a strange place not knowing which is better until you find a place. You'll have no idea if it's good or not until you try it. But if you do some research prior, you'll know which place is best and even have an idea of what you want to order when you get there. Structure is good for business!
Reviewing and working on your business plan will help you review everything at once—value drivers, marketing efforts, operations, finances, and employment. With a clear picture moving forward, you'll feel more confident about your business which means your employees will feel more secure in their position as well. The 2020s have started, do you know the outlook of your business?