Business Plans are Useless ... Business Planning is Essential
Updated: Apr 26, 2020
Having helped hundreds of companies plan their businesses, we have found the thing that causes the most dread in clients is the thought of producing a business plan. Business plans tend to be out-of-date routine reporting, complicated to write, and dare we say, boring; writing one can be overwhelming.
Most businesses don't produce a business plan. It is hard, it takes too long and until you are forced to do it by your bank or an investor, you have no intention of wasting time writing one. A quick Google search will reveal lots of reasons why you shouldn’t write a business plan.
But, perhaps, there is a better way? To have a conversation about how we can help, please get in touch at https://www.smorgasbord.tech/planit or read on.
You might not want a business plan but most people would agree that planning is important in business. To quote Dwight D Eisenhower:
‘Plans are worthless, planning is everything’.
Just imagine looking forward to the time when an investor, a large customer, a key supplier or your bank asks you for your business plan. Better still, what if you could have different business plan scenarios built for different audiences?
Now you can do this cheaply and efficiently with PLANiT, our business planning offering. Yes, we can write a business plan for you, cheaply and efficiently, but for people who want something more, much more, our business planning offering changes the traditional business plan into a real-time tool that really helps you manage your business.
For most businesses, business planning should be a simple, ongoing process that helps you discover your ideal business strategy. It’s a lot less about putting together a document, and more about frequently reviewing your strategy and financials so you can respond quickly to challenges and opportunities.
Whether you need a one-page pitch to send to an investor, supplier or bank, or a fully costed plan and financials, PLANiT keeps you up to date, saving you time and demonstrating professionalism, putting you on the front foot. More importantly, it links data from accounting software continually, and benchmarks using data from the world’s largest source. Testing different scenarios and comparing your own situation with other businesses solves business planning’s biggest problems; it is always up to date, it is specific, relevant and objective. Your planning tool ends up being used as a management tool dashboard to help you make informed decisions for your business.
However, if you need a business plan you could start simply with a one-page business plan, keeping each section as short as possible; including the following:
Value Proposition: One sentence that describes the value you provide to your customers.
Solution: What problem does your business solve for your customers? Why do they choose you over other alternatives?
Your solution: How do you solve your customer’s problem? What’s your ‘secret sauce’?
Competition: What products and services do your customers choose today instead of yours? What other product or service might the customer spend their money on instead of yours?
Customer: Describe your ideal customer. Who are they? What are they like?
Marketing: How do you market your products and services to your customers? What are your sales channels, or the places where you will sell your products?
Sales: How much do you think you will sell and how much is it going to cost you to make your product or deliver your service?
Milestones: What have you achieved so far and what are your major goals for the next few months or years?
Team: Why are you and your business partners the right people to make your company successful?
If you then want to further develop your plan or your planning, you might need some support. In addition to business plan writing, Smorgasbord offers a range of tools and services from one-off support through to ongoing business advice. PLANiT might be a good place to start. If you want to know more, please get in touch with us at www.smorgasbord.tech to discuss
PLANiT real-time business planning.
Smorgasbord helps people who are starting or growing a business, by providing funding and support to overcome the five main barriers to SME growth.