Every year many businesses end in failure. Studies show that one notable cause of business failure is lack of planning.
Indeed, there’s a saying: “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” In business as well as in life, planning is a must. Without a plan, there is no direction, and managing a business without direction often leads to collapse.
How do you make a business plan for profit? Here’s how, in seven easy steps:
1. What are your goals and objectives?
What do you want for your business to achieve? How much profit you want to generate?
The first step in business planning is knowing your objectives. Your objectives is your direction. You cannot achieve anything unless you know where you are going. A business plan will clarify in your mind what you want, and to find ways and means of getting it.
2. What are your products and services?
What products and services will you sell to generate revenue and income for your business? To do this you must know your target market, your customers, without which you have no business. The customers are your business’ reason for existence.
3. Who are your customers?
This is basic. Who are the buyers of your products and services? It is important to have a market niche – the specific group or class of people with specific needs and wants. Are they women, students, senior citizens, babies, teenagers?
Each of these segments have their own specific needs and wants. The secret is finding your niche and serve them well.
4. Who are your competitors?
Who are your competitors? These people sell the same or similar products and services that you are selling. It is important to know the competitors’ prices, techniques, promotion, and marketing.
Unless you know your competition, you won’t survive for long. Thus, it is important to know your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses vis-a-vis your own. That is why, having a market niche is important.
5. How do you market and promote your business, products and services?
Once you have the products and services, the market niche, and identified your competitors, then marketing, promoting, and selling your products and services would be easy.
How will you attract the attention of your customers and keep them interested and coming back for more? By advertising and promotion, of course.
6. How much is your budget?
All these activities and strategies require a budget. You must have a financial plan, to know how much are your expenses, revenue and profit. In your plan you must know the sources of your funds, the cash inflow and outflow.
7. How will you manage?
Any business needs management. To implement all these things you need to manage, coordinate and lead. But when you have the plan, then you have a road map, a direction. You know where you are going and how to get there. The rest is up to you.