- Anushka Shah
Do I need a Business Plan?
We have heard this question too often for it to be ignored. Ideally, a business plan acts as a foundation of your business and guides you throughout your journey to make the right decisions. A business plan sets a company up for success. In this blog, let us explore Revby's take on a business plan, the importance of a business plan, a traditional business plan template, and the pain points of the business plan.
Business Planning- Revby’s Viewpoint
At Revby, we like to rely on the concept of business planning where you become aware of various business planning tools, approaches, and examples and then apply what makes most sense to your business rather than sticking to a rigid format. The concept of Business Planning can be broken down into several tools to help small business owners like yourself get to execution right away.
Authentic Story and Purpose This is a documented narrative around ‘why’ and ‘who’. This essentially highlights your driving factor, your passion, and your purpose. Once that is laid out, it will act as a guide for decision making and addressing the apt problem. This will also allow you to tap into the market, receive feedback, and revamp accordingly.
Use of an Agile Planning Framework that Supports Experimentation In case you like to pen things down and visualize your goals, then you can rely on the Business Model Canvas. There is a wide range of models, however, one of the most common one for startups and entrepreneurs is the ‘Lean Canvas Model’. The Lean Canvas focuses on addressing broad customer problems, solutions, key metrics, competitive advantages, and delivering them to customer segments through a unique value proposition. You can use it to test your business model viability. It is an open-source, downloaded for free, and can be revised multiple times. Additionally, it can be used by solo entrepreneurs or teams for brainstorming exercises and testing assumptions. As a whole, it allows you to look at the overlooked aspects along with the essential components for business feasibility.
Lean Canvas Model Template
3. Operations Checklist Every business involves various decisions to be made ranging from the smallest details to extensive ideas. Thus, an operations checklist acts as a planning tool that can help small business owners focus on the decisions and actions needed to practically operate their business. One can primarily focus on people, platforms, product/service resources, and profit. Since these play an integral part in our day to day activities, let us understand them with more clarity.
People or Stakeholders : A. Creating an advisory board that can serve in a formal capacity and brings a different perspective to the front.
B. Finding early adopter customers to get into execution right away and working on the changes during the whole process.
C. Establishing the need for contractors, employees, and terms within the partnership agreements.
A. Understanding of what people will be involved at different levels and how will you create your product/ service.
B. Importance of digital presence and the platforms and tools you need to incorporate into your business. C. Managing your website and integrating your offline and online presence.
A. Where will you manufacture your product and where will you sell it?
B. Identifying the team geographics and commerce platform.
A. Establish a bookkeeping system to understand your numbers. B. Classify and outline your costs to make data-informed decisions.
4. Traditional Business Plan
For many people, it might be necessary to draft a traditional business plan for several reasons such as complex businesses and for very small businesses to submit to external parties. A few important aspects of the traditional business plan are as follows:
Identify a Purpose to reach an end.
Briefly mention your core of the business, intrinsic passion, and people behind the business through Story, Mission, Values, and Founder Profiles.
Internal Analysis using SWOT Analysis to be more self-aware about the gaps and opportunities.
Conduct an in-depth Marketing and Financial Analysis to better understand how to reach your customers and efficiently manage your business.
As a whole, business planning has various benefits. It allows you to set priorities and focus on specific areas and target markets. Once you include the performance metrics, it acts as a performance indicator and can help you track real-time progress.
Still, have questions about Business Planning? Reach out to us here and we would love to guide you! Now that we have looked at the various uses and benefits of a Business Plan. Let’s cover a few common pain points.
1. Ton of templates- There are several templates available for business plans and hence it makes it difficult to make the right choice. The idea is not to stick to a rigid plan but modify your sub-topics based on your business needs.
2. Time consuming- Creating a detailed business plan can require immense amounts of time and hard work. It is also considered intensive and theoretical. This can be dealt with by understanding your priorities and not spending too much time trying to devise the perfect business plan.
3. Become Obsolete- Over time, business plans can become obsolete and they require frequent updating based on the changes made in real-time. This can get a bit tedious which in turn causes people to lose interest in developing a business plan.
The question is, do you need a Business Plan?
Well, it depends entirely on how you look at it. If you need to put things on paper to gain a sense of direction then you can always modify and create a business plan to cater to your specific needs. Or you could rely on modern tools such as Business Models, PESTLE Analysis, and SWOT Analysis, among others to layout a plan.
About the Author
Anushka Shah is a Finance and Business Graduate from Boston College. Find her on LinkedIn: Anushka Shah | LinkedIn