Here are a few essential elements to include in your business plan. If a yearly business plan is not something that you have done, create a quarterly plan that you can work too. Many pay bills quarterly, so you an align your business plan alongside your quarterly payments. A regular review enables you to adapt sooner rather than later. The plan should not be set in stone, change is inevitable, so expect change. A short one or two page document is more than adequate to review on a quarterly basis. Then at the end of the year you will have information ready and available for a more in depth review to prepare for the following year.
Why have you set up in business? How have you set your business? Where do you want to be in 5 years, 10 years time? What is your product or service? How are you different from the competition? What is your USP? What is the focus this year? Who are your customers? Why would they need your product or service? What is your pricing? Is your pricing sustainable?
Customers are important to your business, without them you have no business. Who are your ideal customers? Where are your customers? Where do you need to be seen? Where should you be spending money in promoting your business? What activities do you need to budget for? Are they working? What enquiries/business has been generated? Are you retaining existing customers?
What are your costs? What do you need to run your business? What are your regular outgoings? Insurance, equipment/tools, petrol, supplies, business tax? What do you need to live on each month? What do you need to put to one side to buffer a downturn? When you see what your outgoings are you can see what you need to be earning each month. Do you need to prepare for major costs in the future? I.e a new vehicle, or equipment that you need for your business.
If 2020 teaches us one thing in business it is keep an eye on the plan and try to at least buffer a downturn should the inevitable happen so that we have time to either pivot our businesses and weather the storm and at the very least survive!