Developing a business plan is essential for the success of a business, however, many small business owners view creating a business plan as a daunting task. "It’s the narrative that brings many small business owners to their knees," says SCORE mentor David Albright. Creating a business plan can be challenging, if you do not know what a business plan requires. In the SCORE Webinar: Developing a Business Plan in Six Easy Steps, David Albright breaks down the process of creating a business plan in easy to follow steps and also provides additional resources and templates to use to help guide small business owners down the right path.
In the webinar David highlights six key areas you should focus on when creating a business plan:
- Analyzing your market and your business
- Defining your competitive advantage
- Defining 3 year sales & earnings goals (2015-2017)
- Creating a 2015 action plan (top 5 priorities)
- Creating a 2015 profit & loss statement (P&L)
- Creating a 2015 cash flow projection (monthly)
Before David focused on the six keys to developing a business plan, he answered questions key questions many business owners often ask:
Why a Business Plan?
"A business plan is a statement of your business objectives and your plan for achieving them," says David. Creating a business plan is creating a blue print for growth. If you align your organization with clear objectives, you increase the chances of success. A solid plan will enable you to raise money, obtain a loan, and even track your business progress more effectively.
Why Set Sales & Target Earnings?
Setting clear sales and targeted earnings helps with defining goals, priorities and milestones. "With clear goals, clear priorities, and clear milestones you are able to know if you are on track. And it’s better to know if you are off track earlier," says David. While it’s important to set clear goals to track your progress, it’s also important to determine who these goals will be met. In your plan you should describe how you will achieve them, what needs to be done, by whom, by when and at what cost. Highlighting the five most critical things that need to be done, will you when setting your sales and earnings.
The SCORE mentor says when it comes to success and creating a solid business plan,"it's never about hoping and wishing for a better tomorrow, it's about tough minded business people relentlessly reaching a goal."
Want to learn more about developing your business plan in six easy steps? Listen to David's webinar: Developing a Business Plan in Six Easy Steps.
Interested in learning more about business plans? Join us for our upcoming SCORE Live Webinar: Writing a Winning Business Plan