Financial Planning : Perhaps one of the most important parts of any business plan is the financial plan. You need to make some forecasts of revenue and expenditure over a period of several years. You can then estimate when you will reach a break even point and how much profit will be possible in the future. Set out anticipated monthly cash flows in a spreadsheet program on your computer. As businesses often don't grow as fast as their owners expect them to you should outline several scenarios. One scenario can show your expected outcome, one can show a more optimistic forecast and the third one can show a worst case scenario.
So, in the end, I encourage you to realign whatever preconceived notions you may have of the business planning process and view it not as a daunting task or a necessary evil of running a successful business. Instead, view it as yet another opportunity, the chance to help make your dreams into a reality by mapping out the needs of your business, your customers, your employees, your suppliers, your community...and yourself!
While it is always exciting to try to realize your dream in your mind and to project that image into your future, the realization that barriers, stumbling blocks, and necessary "to-do's" exist. These subjects range from broad to very specific, and can include questions such as; Who is my ideal client?; What would be a good name for my organization?; What is my unique selling proposition (USP)?; How will I balance my work life with my personal life?; How big do I want this business to be; Do I have the necessary resources? If not, where can I get them? If so, how do I most effectively utilize them?
Competitive Analysis : The competitive analysis is a great way to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors in the same market. This will allow you to create strategies to give you an advantage. Any potential threats can be recorded which will help to create early strategies to prevent any weaknesses that can be exploited.
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