On average, it takes 5 years to create a profitable business. That’s why it’s so important to put a solid 5-year business plan in place before you get started. Guiding your young business through those first 5 years will be tricky. But if you can get past them, your business will be in a strong position to achieve even greater successes in the years ahead. Here’s what you need to do when creating your business plan.
Develop a Clear Vision
Before you put anything down on paper, you need to make sure you have a clear vision for the business and its future. This should be fully formed before you move onto the next step. It’s impossible to create a plan for your business and its future if you don’t really know what you want the business to do. The clearer your vision for the business, the better. That way, you will know what success looks like, and setting goals will be much easier.
Outline Your Specific Goals
Next, you will need to start setting those goals. Every business needs to have objectives. You can break these up by year. So, in the first year, you might want to make a certain number of sales. But this goal should be significantly increased in the subsequent years. Make as many goals as you see fit. They don’t have to all be measurable in a statistical way either. You might have some goals that relate to employee happiness or customer satisfaction, for example.
Come Up with a Strategy for Reaching Those Goals
Now that your goals are in place, coming up with a winning strategy should be your focus. It’s all well and good saying you want to hit this goal or that goal. But how are you going to make that happen? This is where the real planning starts. Developing a strategy for reaching those goals will have to encapsulate all kinds of things. You will need a marketing plan, an on-line outreach initiative, and an employee retention strategy.
List Your Team’s Talents, and Weaknesses That Should be Improved Upon
Your business plan will also need to list the team’s talents. Their talents are the business’s talents, and understanding what the business is good at will help it find success. At the same time, you also need to think about the weaknesses in the business. You can then create a strategy for improving the things that you’re not so good at. It can also be a good idea to create plans for the challenges that you think might be looming on the horizon for the business.
Create Financial Projections
It’s very important to create some financial projections for the business that cover the next 5 years. When you do this, you can be sure to hit every financial target and stay on track throughout those tricky first 5 years in business. Falling short when it comes to financial revenue could be disastrous for your business, so you can’t afford to ignore this part of the business planning process.