Management & Planning Tool : If you are like many other small business owners, you are not only the owner of the company, you are likely also actively involved in the day-to-day operations as the President/CEO, the marketing department, the IT department, the HR department...the list goes on and on! One of the most important things to remember in trying to bring all of this together into a cohesive and efficient package is that planning is vital!
Although the term "business plan" conjures many negative images in the eyes of some business owners, taking a step-by-step approach will prove that creating a business plan is much less daunting than one might imagine. Although no two plans are exactly the same (the necessary details of the plan can vary between companies), the contents of a typical business plan include the following topics : Executive Summary - Sell your business to your reader!; Business Overview - Giving a general summary of the business; Market & Competitive Analysis - What environment are you competing in?; Marketing & Sales Strategy - How will you "win" in your market?; Organization Plan - How is your organization structured?; Financial Projections - Current status and future outlook; Funding Sought (if required); Key Milestones - What are your specific & achievable goals?; Critical Risks - What keeps you awake at night?; Appendix/Attachments.
Whether you are a veteran business owner, have recently begun your own venture, or are still in the dreaming stages, you have invariably spent many hours thinking about and envisioning your organization.
Set out a basic management structure outlining who has responsibility for various aspects of the business. This will be easy in the beginning but eventually you may have marketing staff, administration staff, kitchen staff and servers. Make it clear how you plan on delegating tasks, leadership and responsibility for decision making down to your employees.
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