What a rollercoaster ride we are on. The current reality is likely to be a far cry from those business plans that you made at the start of the year.
Has your business changed direction?
The prospect of shutting up shop was not an option for every business. To ride the storm, many sprang into action. Reading the market and adapting their processes or offer, they spotted fresh opportunities and attracted new customers. Was your business one of them?
As the lockdown restrictions continue to be lifted, what is the plan now? Will your company return to the old way of working or has diversification opened up new doors that could support business growth?
Maybe the best decision for your company was to close. As you re-open the doors, it is a good time to review your goals. Will some of your plans need to go on hold as you focus on more immediate priorities? How will this impact on the business plan?
The Benefits of a Business Plan
Every company benefits from having its purpose, objectives and goals clearly laid out. A business plan sets out the direction that the company is heading in and what steps are needed to get there. It helps everyone to remain focused, to track progress and to identify what resources are necessary to realise success.
A well-constructed business plan is a valuable document. It can be used for strategic planning and company decisions and to inform staff training. It should also be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure it remains relevant.
Having been through a period of change, now is an ideal time to revisit, revise or completely re-write your business plan. Even if little has changed within your team, consider your customers. Are their priorities the same? How can your business adapt to better meet their needs? What could the company do to reassure them that you are taking their safety seriously?
Why Does Every Business need a Business plan?
When you set out on a long journey, you may use a Sat Nav to guide you. This tool helps you to stay on track or find alternative routes if required. It provides data about the miles travelled, helps you to plan when and where to refuel and gives an expected arrival time.
A business plan is much like a Sat Nav. By mapping out your offer, organisational values, and goals, you can use it to guide your decisions on what finances, resources and employee skills are required. It helps you and everyone involved in your business to reach the desired destination.
Right now, you may be managing operations, finances, marketing, customer experience and logistics single-handedly or as part of a small team. A business plan will help you to plan for the future. What is required to scale up operations and achieve the milestones that lead to long-term business success?
Whilst this is an important document, it need not be dry and dull. If you want a growing team and/or potential funders to buy into it, it should be clear and accessible.
A Business Plan of Value
Be honest, when was the last time that you read your company’s business plan?
If you want it to be useful to the business, there is little use having a huge great document gathering dust on the shelf. Yes, you may need a detailed document for shareholders or to support an application for funding or pitch for an investor, but 3DVA has another suggestion.
We recommend the creation of a concise document; a document that is simple to understand and easy to update; a plan that every member of the team can refer to. With all the best intentions, no one has time to plough through reams of text, but you can keep everyone moving in the right direction with a snapshot of the key points!
A Concise Visual Business Plan
To make it simple to bring your business up to speed, 3DVA has produced a visual business plan template. As one of our document support services, this is a single-page summary of the following information:
- A – Company Purpose: What is the reason for your business existing?
- B – Values & Keywords: The beliefs and principles which underpin every decision
- C – Timeline: What needs to happen by when – some actions will be especially time-critical. What is your current focus?
- D – SWOT Analysis: Business Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Develop your business by identifying risks to mitigate, building on what you do well and looking for chances to grow
- E – Target Market: Your ideal customer (with matching beliefs and principles)
- F – Brand: Capturing the essence of your business in a consistent and recognisable way; font, size and colour
- G – Favourite Business Quote: What inspiring message helps to keep you on track?
- H – Marketing Plan: How will you promote your products and services to your target market?
- I – Goal & Actions What is your ultimate destination and what needs to happen to get there?
- J – Forecast: Using available data, predict what milestones can be realistically reached
- K – Goal Tracking: How is performance matching up to the milestone goals?
- L – Motivational Statement: What will drive you and your team during the tough times?
As with any of the examples in our document gallery, we can personalise this visual business plan with your logo and brand colours. Just contact Dee at 3DVA on 07549 900447 or email@example.com to discuss your requirements and we’ll ensure you deliver a consistent, professional brand image.
A Shared Mission
With your visual business plan filled in, it can be shared with the team electronically or pinned to the staff noticeboard for a reminder of what your organisation is all about. It can be referred to in business meetings and updated with the latest figures to track progress.
If your best-laid plans have gone out of the window, don’t despair. Rethink your company objectives on a fresh business plan and help your team to collectively realise success.
Contact me if you would like help with completing this template or in creating branded documents for your business.
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