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When and how to review your business plan The importance of ongoing business planning Most potential investors will want to see a business plan before they consider funding your business.
Although many businesses are tempted to use their business plans solely for this purpose, a good plan should set the course of a business over its lifespan.
A business plan plays a key role in allocating resources throughout a business. It is a tool that can help you attract new funds or that you can use as a strategy document.
A good business plan reveals how you would use the bank loan or investment you are asking for. Ongoing business planning means that you can monitor whether you are achieving your business objectives.
A business plan can be used as a tool to identify where you are now and in which direction you wish your business to grow. A business plan will also ensure that you meet certain key targets and manage business priorities. You can maximise your chances of success by adopting a continuous and regular business planning cycle that keeps the plan up-to-date.
This should include regular business planning meetings which involve key people from the business. To find out more, see our guides on how to review your business performance and how to assess your options for growth. If you regularly assess your performance against the plans and targets you have set, you are more likely to meet your objectives.
Many businesses choose to assess progress every three or six months. The assessment will also help you in discussions with banks, investors and even potential buyers of your business. Regular review is a good vehicle for showing direction and commitment to employees, customers and suppliers.
What your business plan should include Your business plan should include a summary of what your business does, how it has developed and where you want it to go. In particular, it should cover your strategy for improving your existing sales and processes to achieve the growth you desire.
You also need to make it clear what timeframe the business plan covers - this will typically be for the next 12 to 24 months. The plan needs to include: The marketing aims and objectives, for example how many new customers you want to gain and the anticipated size of your customer base at the end of the period.
To find out about marketing strategy, see our guide on how to create your marketing strategy. Operational information such as where your business is based, who your suppliers are and the premises and equipment needed. Financial information, including profit and loss forecasts, cash flow forecasts, sales forecasts and audited accounts.
A summary of the business objectives, including targets and dates. If yours is an owner-managed business, you may wish to include an exit plan. This includes planning the timing of your departure and the circumstances, e. If you intend to present your business plan to an external audience such as investors or banks, you will also need to include: The individual business plans of the departments and separate business units will need to be integrated into a single strategy document for the entire organisation.
This is not just an issue for large enterprises - many small firms consist of separate business units pursuing different strategies. To draw up a business plan that marries all the separate units of an organisation requires a degree of co-ordination.
It may seem obvious, but make sure all departments are using the same planning template. Generally, individual unit plans are required to be more specific and precisely defined than the overall business plan.
However complex it turns out to be, the individual business unit plan needs to be easily understood by the people whose job it is to make it work. They also need to be clear on how their plan fits in with that of the wider organisation.Administration & Management Strategic Plan.
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mission-oriented plan for competitive sourcing. NSF is . Best Practices and Leading Practices in Information Technology Management Information technology (IT) management requires a sound foundation in areas such as IT strategic planning, enterprise architecture, IT investment management.
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Bill McBeath speaks at XChain 2: Blockchain for Supply Chain and Logistics Forum.