A business coach can help you start, scale, or sell your business. A great business coach is the quickest route to success in your business and your overall happiness. She becomes your confidant, thought partner, and a key member of your team.
Many famous entrepreneurs and executives have successfully benefited from business coaching, including Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Eric Schmidt. She has a full arsenal of strategies, ideas, and techniques to help you succeed. She also helps you navigate any challenges that you encounter along the way.
One such strategy is helping you build a comprehensive and well-done business plan. A business plan helps you crystalize your vision, optimize your efforts, and create an actionable plan to reach your goals.
Starting or running a business without a business plan is like driving from NYC to LA without a GPS or a map. It wastes time, money, resources, and you may never get to the intended destination, which is a lucrative business that impacts the world.
What is a Business Plan?
A business plan is simply a written plan which outlines your priorities, strategies, and methods to get to success. It is useful in many ways. This roadmap is not only a robust marketing tool for selling your business or obtaining loans. It is strategic guidance and helps you exceed your business objectives.
Why Don’t Most Entrepreneurs Have a Business Plan?
Entrepreneurs work really hard and can find it challenging to set aside the time to create a business plan properly. Many entrepreneurs don’t understand the value and process, so it can be very uncomfortable and grueling for an unfamiliar entrepreneur to write a business plan properly.
What Are the Main Segments of a Traditional Business Plan?
Here is a quick summary of the seven essential parts of the business strategy and what it should contain:
1. Executive summary
This is your business in a nutshell. Although this part should be first, it helps to write it last. This section needs to captivate and entice the readers’ attention and be strong, persuasive, and tailored to your audience.
It must be a clear and concise overview of the company’s name and location, mission, vision statement, background, and a summary of the plan’s purpose.
2. Company Description
This is the high-level view of your business and can be a minimal start-up plan or a very extensive description of your business. Either way, you will want to include essential details about your company, your business’s nature, and the needs you solve of an ideal client. It also includes the products and services, including the clients you intend to acquire and how you will stand out from the competition.
3. Market analysis
Ideally, your market analysis would prove that you understand the particular target market, your goals, and industry nuances. You’ll need to support your statements with data, demographics, and key competitors. Be very specific!
4. Overview of your products and services
Suppose you do not have enough facts about your goods and services in your business summary. Whoever reads this section of your marketing strategy should know just what you’re trying to produce and market, how long your goods will work, and how they will satisfy existing needs. It’s a smart idea to list your suppliers as well. Costs, profit margins, and trademark may be useful too.
5. Marketing and Sales Strategy
How do you sell the products or services you are developing? That’s the most critical question you’re going to address as you discuss your business plan. It is best to be as detailed as possible. Include how you will position your product or service in the market strategically, pricing, promotion, and marketing to reach your target audience. In this section, you may want to outline your digital strategy even if you are just getting started and aren’t certain.
6. Competitive Analysis
This section outlines your primary competitive advantages and disadvantages. It shows how your company will stack up against key competitors. Include assumptions and risks.
7. Organization and Management Team Overview
You will present the “who” of the company. Have a plan for the team. If you are starting or still small, it may be just you and a clerical person. If you’ve grown, it should include management details and outline their abilities and their crucial work duties. If this plan is being developed to raise funds or attract talent, include management profiles, responsibilities, and any outside advisers that are part of your great team.
8. Financial Plan and Analysis
It would be best to include a Sales Forecast, Profit and Loss Statement, Cash Flow report, and Balance Sheet. If you are starting, including your expectations of profit and the basis for these assumptions. Explain where the level and basis of growth projections and also the expenses data.
What Are the Benefits of a Business Plan?
1. Shows You How to Win
Having a comprehensive and thoughtful business plan helps passionate entrepreneurs to grow faster and make easier decisions. It also allows you to lead with confidence based upon data-driven decisions. You can spend money with confidence because you understand your direction and your financials.
You must remain nimble and flexible to change your direction if a new opportunity opens up or something isn’t working. Being able to pivot is the key to success, and your business plan should never tie you to one route to success.
2. Provides you with new ideas
Business planning itself is fun if done correctly. We use a vision board to explore fresh concepts and new strategies and decide the best way to win. Some exciting new ideas will appear and not only be exciting but also increase the likelihood of success. A business plan done well will help you to continue to grow and provide insight into innovative ideas that can help you think outside the box and develop new solutions to several of your most challenging business issues.
3. Helps you Build an actionable plan
Successful entrepreneurs thrive on action plans. Action plans come from a vision and strategy. Building a business plan is a process, and if done correctly, it is invigorating and very rewarding. You can toss out things that aren’t working and implement new ideas and innovations.
You don’t need to know everything to start building a dynamic and scalable plan. You start by completing the plan with what you know now and fill in the details as you learn more about your niche.
4. Acquire Funding and Know your Numbers
Every business owner needs to know their numbers to avoid cash crunches and run profitably. A business plan can help you fund your business either with investors or lenders. You share your goals and objectives and financial requirements, and projections so that the audience can evaluate whether or not they want to fund your business.
Writing a business plan also allows you to test the validity of your theories by analyzing the data. The plan will also help you be aware of your numbers so you can avoid cash crunches that can destroy a business.
How Frequently Do You Need to Update Your Business Plan?
A business plan is a roadmap that should be constantly evolving and updated. If you are a beginning entrepreneur or a very small business, don’t worry about form over substance. Just get it written, and you will already be ahead of the game. As you grow, your business plan can be used to retain talent or get funding. It can be useful in creating pitch decks as well.
What Happens When You Don’t Have a Business Plan?
Creating a business strategy is one of the first steps to take when starting a new business. So, what happens to a company that does not have one?
A company without a business plan has less chance of making the right decisions, is more likely to face stress from indecision, suffer from lack of direction, and fall into cash crunches.
How does a Business Coach Help with a Business Plan?
As a business coach, I offer a personalized and customized process of creating a polished and professional business plan. I get to know every aspect of you, your “why,” and your entire business. My business planning process utilizes vision sessions combining high-level strategy, deep analysis, and idea generation, along with the practical action steps. As an expert coach, I guide you through the process while encouraging you to explore all options and ideas to experience the greatest brainstorming and winning solutions.
Writing a business plan doesn’t have to be a gigantic task. It can be simple if you are doing it for your own purposes, then you can expand on it as needed later.
Entrepreneurs find it exhilarating to have a roadmap to crystalize their vision, outline priorities, and execute the decisions required to run a very profitable organization that significantly impacts the world.
The right business coach can help you write a winning business plan that can change your business’s trajectory.