It wasn’t that long ago when business plans were considered a standard part of getting any new venture off the ground. However, over the last five years or so, there’s been a lot of pushback about business plans. The main point that business plan critics bring up is since modern markets change so quickly, the idea of a business plan is obsolete. These critics believe that business owners are better off diving right into things instead of spending their time coming up with a business plan.
While there’s definitely something to be said for taking action and not falling into the trap of paralysis by analysis, that doesn’t mean completely foregoing a business plan is the best idea. As its name literally implies, a business plan creates a path for you to follow. So while Big Red SEO agrees that doing financial projections five or even ten years out is more of a fantasy than anything grounded in reality, that doesn’t mean the entire idea of a business plan should be thrown out the window.
Whether you’re getting ready to start a business or have an established business which is struggling to grow, we want to cover some of the key elements of a business plan that can put your venture on the right track. By taking the time to address at least these aspects of a business plan, you’ll find that you ultimately end up in a much better position than you were without it:
Start By Getting Clarity
When you sit down to begin formulating your business plan, the best place to start is by getting clarity about your business. This is just as important for a new business as it is for one that’s established. During this stage in the process, you’re going to want to focus on what exactly your business will provide. You should also think about what customers you want to service, as well as how you’ll deliver the level of service that you want them to experience.
While all the components of this early phase are important, clearly identifying your target customers is the most important. The reason is this single point of clarity can make many elements of your business easier to manage. For example, you’ll have an easier time coming up with highly effective marketing material once you know exactly who you’re trying to speak to with it.
As you’re going through this first stage in the process of developing a business plan, you should also figure out what you need to run your business. If you’re launching a new business, this will give you a much better understanding of how much it’s going to cost to get your business up and running. And if you have an established business, thinking about this question can help you identify areas where you can invest in your business to help it grow.
Drill Into Your Objectives and Keys to Success
The first phase we covered above will serve as the foundation for your business plan. Once you have that amount of clarity spelled out in front of you, the next step is to drill into your specific objectives and keys to success. Although most business owners know what they want to accomplish, many don’t take the time to fully flesh out their objectives by writing them down. Going through this process is a very effective way to figure out exactly what you want your business to accomplish.
Keep in mind that when it comes to detailing your exact business objectives, there’s no right or wrong answers. Instead of feeling pressured to write down what you think you should, be completely honest with yourself about what you want your business to do. Taking this honest approach will help you identify and eliminate any points of friction within your business.
While knowing what you want for your business is very important, you shouldn’t stop with just identifying your objectives. To make those objectives attainable, it’s important to figure out what your business needs to do in order to achieve them. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want your business plan to include one key to success for each objective that you have. While you may have an objective that requires two keys to success, it’s generally best if you can boil things down to a single sentence that summarizes what your business is going to do.
Once you have come up with the objectives for your business and what you’re going to do to accomplish them, you’ll have a much clearer idea of the path that your business needs to follow. One thing to remember is that your business plan isn’t something that should be set in stone. Instead, you should periodically review it and make any needed updates based on your progress.
The Strategies and Resources Needed to Help Your Business Grow
Starting an Omaha business is no easy to task. The same is true for growing a business. Since finding business success requires overcoming many different obstacles, it’s important for you to utilize every advantage that’s available to you. Big Red SEO is one resource that can give your business exactly what it needs to grow and thrive.
One of the factors that makes Big Red SEO unique is our experience working with businesses in different stages of growth. Because we’ve personally helped businesses get from one level to the next, we know exactly what this process requires. We also know the common pitfalls that cause many businesses to get stuck.
If you want a partner that can help you avoid problems and stay on the right path to continued growth, Big Red SEO would love to speak and ultimately work with you. That’s why we’ve made it really easy to talk with us about your business. All you need to do is call us at (402) 522-6468 so we can speak about your Omaha business and the ways that Big Red SEO can help it grow.