Why Write a Business Plan? Why should a business go through the trouble of constructing a business plan? There are five major reasons:
The statistics are grim.
An even more microscopic group, just 0. In other words, most businesses start small and stay there. But if that's not good enough for you—or if you recognize that staying small doesn't necessarily guarantee your business's survival— there are examples of companies out there that have successfully made the transition from start-up to small business to fully-thriving large business.
That's the premise behind the search Keith McFarland, an entrepreneur and former Inc. So I studied the companies who had done it to learn their lessons. Developing a Growth Strategy: Intensive Growth Part of getting from A to B, then, is to put together a growth strategy that, McFarland says, "brings you the most results from the least amount of risk and effort.
The bottom line for small businesses, especially start-ups, is to focus on those strategies that are at the lowest rungs of the ladder and then gradually move your way up as needed.
As you go about developing your growth strategy, you should first consider the lower rungs of what are known as Intensive Growth Strategies. Each new rung brings more opportunities for fast growth, but also more risk.
The least risky growth strategy for any business is to simply sell more of its current product to its current customers—a strategy perfected by large consumer goods companies, says McFarland. Think of how you might buy a six-pack of beverages, then a pack, and then a case.
Finding new ways for your customers to use your product—like turning baking soda into a deodorizer for your refrigerator—is another form of market penetration. The next rung up the ladder is to devise a way to sell more of your current product to an adjacent market—offering your product or service to customers in another city or state, for example.
McFarland points out that many of the great fast-growing companies of the past few decades relied on Market Development as their main growth strategy. For example, Express Personnel now called Express Employment Professionalsa staffing business that began in Oklahoma City quickly opened offices around the country via a franchising model.
Eventually, the company offered employment staffing services in some different locations, and the company became the fifth-largest staffing business in the U. This growth strategy involves pursuing customers in a different way such as, for example, selling your products online.
When Apple added its retail division, it was also adopting an Alternative Channel strategy. Using the Internet as a means for your customers to access your products or services in a new way, such as by adopting a rental model or software as a service, is another Alternative Channel strategy.
A classic strategy, it involves developing new products to sell to your existing customers as well as to new ones.
If you have a choice, you would ideally like to sell your new products to existing customers. That's because selling products to your existing customers is far less risky than "having to learn a new product and market at the same time," McFarland says. New Products for New Customers.
Sometimes, market conditions dictate that you must create new products for new customers, as Polaristhe recreational vehicle manufacturer in Minneapolis found out. For years, the company produced only snowmobiles.Jan 30, · Learn how to write a business plan, from the most important question to answer to specific information to include throughout your business plan.
Oct 23, · How to Write a Business Plan for an Outpatient Medical Practice. For example, if your company is developing a complex scientific process, but your prospective investors aren’t scientists (and don’t understand all the detailed scientific terminology you want to use), you need to adapt.
Good business plans are living documents that /5(). We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us. Developing the Business Plan A good business plan is a powerful tool that can be used for both potential new business opportunities as well as existing businesses that are considering expansion or .
Jan 30, · Whether you’re starting or growing your business, you need a business plan. Your plan will provide the roadmap to achieve the success you want. How to Write a Business Plan OutlineDig Deeper.
This section should answer the question of what you want to have listed in terms of dollars, numbers, hours, percentages—some achievable thing, says barnweddingvt.com Deeper. Next up: Focusing on your outward message, explaining what problem or frustration your business barnweddingvt.com Deeper.
If you're using your business plan to attract investors, you'll need to get your money position straight, says Rohr, focusing on what you own and what you wantDig Deeper. The point of marketing is to get someone to reach in your direction as opposed to sales, which is when someone buys something to help them solve aDig Deeper.
After you're done with all the prior steps, consider going back to each of the prior sections and revisiting your answers, tweaking them where necessary.