Business planning for a small business is an integral part of the process of launching a successful company. Even if your financing is already secured or you will be providing the seed investment for your endeavor, a written and well-articulated plan can be very beneficial in your quest for success.
Writing a detailed business plan requires you to review many questions you may have failed to consider. Most plans begin with mission states that articulate the goal, or service, or products your company will offer. They also give a sense of what or how you will distinguish yourself from your competitors. Mission statements can often be somewhat nebulous, and I would strongly encourage the aspiring business owner to use it as a way of detailing what their operation will be about. Pie in the sky statements may serve corporate Australia well, but the real world of most owners is far different. A small company must know what course they course they plan to chart and what components are required to achieve this.
One recommendation to consider is dividing your plan into two components. The first part should be a summary and focus on the general aspects and goals your company will seek to accomplish. The second and much lengthier portion should focus on as detailed aspects of how to run your day to day operations. Of course, forecasting the financial future and specific scenarios is tough if not impossible. We need only look to weather forecasts to see how difficult this endeavor is. Nevertheless, the exercise of going through each major component of your business should be done.
Another major component is the marketing strategy that will be followed. Since advertising and marketing are the key mechanisms for securing sales, this should be a very detailed section. In fact, taking the time to call radio stations, newspapers, or reviewing pay per click campaigns and the projected costs involved is worthwhile. One of the difficulties small operations face is not taking into account or underestimating the amount which marketing campaigns will run. Underestimating these costs can be costly and can threaten to leave your hard work unrewarded.
Most business planning for small business also includes a management section covering how your new enterprise will be supervised. Many entrepreneurs fall into the trap of managing on the fly instead of determining what their role will be and how they will resolve their time to adequately work in the business as well as take the time to step back and review the big picture from time to time. Doing so can alleviate or even prevent headaches in the future.