By Kathleen Black, KBCC
A business plan is a written description of your business future, a document that tells what you plan to do and how you plan to do it.
One of the most difficult parts of writing a business plan is simply getting started.
Keep in mind that creating a business plan is a vital step for any entrepreneur to take, regardless of the size of the business.
Your business plan will become your roadmap to chart the course of your business. At the outset you cannot predict all of the changing conditions that will surface, which is why a business plan is important to periodically review and update.
It’s crucial to start with what you know. Which is why an Executive Summary will allow you to begin your Business Plan for 2022, with a head start.
This section is one of the most important parts of your plan. Therefore, your summary should be convincing, attract the reader’s interest and be brief, no more than one page. Include a clear description of exactly what services your team offers and what, if any, areas you specialize in.
The executive summary should hit the high points of the business plan and therefore should be written last, after you have completed even the financial portion. It should point out section numbers or page numbers of where to find more information.
Your executive summary should include but is not limited to the following items:
• Type of business
• Business structure
• Management/key employee background
• Type of service you offer and how/if it is unique
• Target market and its size
• Marketing strategy (are you differentiating yourself from the competition?)
• Financing/Financial Structure
Business planning can be a daunting task, especially when preparing for 2022. As mentioned above, the easiest thing you can do to start getting over the hump is by starting with what you know.
The main function of this portion is to clearly articulate in a written sentence or two what you are selling, what you might specialize in, who your clients are and why they buy and sell through you. It may also summarize your goals or objectives briefly.
Example: To build a profitable and respected real estate sales firm, as measured by the business’ bottom line and the number of referrals generated by past clients and word of mouth.
Post it on your wall and in as many places as you can possibly think of. Communicate it to as many people as you can.
Remember, this is the reason why you leave the house every day.
If you’re still struggling with your business plan for 2022, the best way to get over the hump, and get inspired to map out your business for the upcoming year is a S.W.O.T Analysis.
S.W.O.T. stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
When you consider these sections, it’s important to factor in such things as location, size of resources, reputation, services, personnel, etc.
Strengths and weaknesses refer to organizational attributes, these are internal in origin whereas, opportunities and threats are attributes of the business environment, they are external in origin.
General SWOT Analysis Example:
● low salary and benefit overhead for unlicensed assistants
● Quick to respond to market changes
● Low hierarchy equals quick decisions
● Technology skills
● Existing workload too great
● Project planning non existent
● Missing expertise in some areas
● Increase market share
● Fewer agents to compete with
● Changing market
● costs of doing business are increasing
● poor perceptions of market
I hope these three sections have inspired you to craft your best Business Plan yet, and help you get started with what you know, to get over the inevitable hump.