Business plans help define goals and help you achieve them. If you take time to set concrete and achievable goals, you can then chart a plan to reach these goals successfully. Having tangible goals can make a business thrive.

By writing down a clear goal or vision, it can later help staff identify with the mission.

Set goals and objectives for the business

Goals can be both big and small to accommodate your business plan. Short term goals are goals that you would like to reach in the first 12 months, while mid-term goals are meant to be achieved in 2-3 years. Long term goals may take awhile to eventuate. Goals can involve anything you’re determined to achieve, including the revenue you want to generate, the number of stores you want establish, the number of customers you need in an online database or age groups you want to target.

Identify your unique selling point

Once you have decided what makes your business or idea unique, explain how your product or service will be different from others in the market. In the business plan, highlight what extra perks or special features your business will provide to customers. For example, this could be an additional warranty or customer support.

Know the market

The marketplace is vast and competition is widespread. That’s why it’s important to know your market inside and out. You need to assess the competition, identify what services they offer, and figure out the current and future industry trends to use to your advantage.

Know your customers

Customers make a business run. By defining your target population, you can do intensive market research to identify what customers really want. Understanding customer habits and motivations behind their actions can make your business more successful. With retail outlets and online shopping, customers are spoilt for choice these days, with a multitude of options for every product. It’s important to know what grabs customer’s interest and hone in on those interests in your business plan.

Research the demand for your business

You need to make sure there is ample demand for your product or service. This boils down the supply and demand curve of basic economics. A business plan should find out the demand before spending money and investing in a new business. Quite simply, demand should be greater than supply. If the supply is greater than demand, it could be problematic for the business. Check out this article about how to deal with the supply and demand for beer.

Set your marketing goals

By setting up marketing goals, this will define what your product will look like and how much it will cost. Within these goals, you will also figure out how to distribute your product and the different promotional tactics you will use to market it. It’s important to create measurable marketing goals and therefore they can be tracked.

Define the marketing strategy

With marketing goals in line, the strategy will help you assess how many products you need to produce and sell. This way, you can analyse the profit margin you need in order to get your intended revenue. The strategy will also look at what type of delivery system you will use and the strategies needed to promote the business.

It takes a lot of motivation and initiative to write a business plan and to start a business. With these basics, you’ll have a better understanding of what concepts to include in your plan to make your business a success. Still lost? Check out this video from Unleashed Academy.