I like to think of business planning and visioning a little bit like a road map to success. The process involves a series of exercises that are designed to help you decide how to get your business from the idea stage, to the point where you break even, and start making a profit, and beyond.
There are many ways to go about business planning and visioning, and, contrary to popular belief, your business plan does not have to be written in any kind of formal language – unless you plan to use it to apply for financing.
The simplest way to get started on your business plan, is to sit down with a piece of paper and a pen, and start jotting down whatever ideas you have that relate to the business you’d like to run.
Once you’ve assembled a healthy amount of information on what your business will be about, it’s time to begin the process of creating a structured business plan, but again, this need not be a difficult or technical process. It is simply a means of organising your thoughts about your business into a logical and easy to follow document that will grow with your business, and help you to decide what your next step will be along the way.
Typically, a business plan is made up of several different sections. These include the executive summary, a general description of your business, your products or services, a marketing plan, an operations plan, a section on the management and organisation of your new business, your personal financial statement, start up and operational expenses, a financial plan and any appendices you may want to add to the document.
If all that sounds like a lot of technical mumbo jumbo that you are never going to be able to finish, do not worry. Business planning and visioning is not supposed to be a task that you dread, or that makes you want to run away! Take it one step at a time, and take your time to write down everything you believe will be relevant to the start up and running of your business.