The vital questions to ask in a business plan are as follows:
a) What makes you different?
b) Who is your audience?
c) How will you make profits?
d) How will you promote your business?
e) How will you get started?
The business planning process needs a thorough and deep understanding of the market and customers to make appropriate predictions that can be applied in the planning process. When developing a business plan, organizations identify their goals. A business planning strategy involves establishing a method and sequence to achieve these goals for the business to arrive at its intended vision.
All businesses require a business plan or a business planning strategy to be successful. A well-defined business planning strategy is the most fundamental step in setting up a business. A business planning process is a documented road map to the success of a company that includes detailed plans about the process of achieving the objectives.
When it comes to business planning process, an entrepreneur has to be concerned about every aspect of the business and should have clear goals set for success. The essential objectives of any business planning strategy include the following elements:
The first step of the business planning process should be spending some time determining what the essential goals for your business are and chalk out the business planning strategy according to that. Identify the company's strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and opportunities and lay down all the steps necessary to initiate the proposed business.
Preparing a business strategy for growth involves the following steps:
Businesses must review the available business plans and scan the market for threats and opportunities to create an effective business planning process and strategy. Seeking professional advice in the form of consultants and experts will go a long way in assessing the future of the business.
Idea generation is a creative process that businesses use. It is an integral part of any business planning process. In this stage, ideas are developed and created, or solutions to perceived or actual problems are generated. Idea generation can be a powerful tool to solve problems, collaborate and generate new thoughts.
Businesses can obtain ideas through a variety of sources. The most significant ones are:
The success of every business planning process depends on several internal and external factors. You must study your business's external environment to stay ahead. An environmental scan is necessary to make the right choice for your business and obtain knowledge about the factors that directly or indirectly affect your business.
The external environment can be identified as competitors, customers, suppliers, demographics, socio-political situation, economic condition, technology, and all other factors directly related to the company's operations.
The internal environment includes factors that exist within the business. These factors include the capital, technological, financial and human resources present in the company, the company culture, the organization structure, and the availability of tools and equipment. Any change in these factors will directly affect the company's performance.
Feasibility Analysis is one of the essential business plan steps. It is the analysis of different alternatives to achieving business success. A feasibility analysis addresses the critical question of "Is this business venture viable?" It narrows down the scope of the business to identify the best situations and the worst scenarios in which the company can be.
The different variables included in a feasibility analysis are:
Market analysis provides data on the niche that the business wants to explore. It forms the base on which a company's marketing and sales plans are laid down – critical to make the ideal business planning strategy. The core elements of a market analysis are industry analysis assessing the industry, target market analysis that evaluates the targeted audience, and a competitive analysis that identifies the competition and their strengths and weaknesses.
This part of the feasibility analysis is operational. It analyses the operational aspects required to carry on the business successfully. For instance, an idea discussed might have great potential. Still, it may not be feasible when it comes to operational costs. That is when the significance of operational analysis comes to the fore.
The primary parameters examined during the operational analysis are – location to carry out the business, processes to be put in place to carry out operations, physical resources, raw materials and assets required to carry out the business, and assessing the distribution channels to deliver services or products to your customers.
Financial analysis is carried out to assess the business's financial issues, including monthly operating expenses, forecasted income statements, cash flow, balance sheet, and capital expenditure. Estimates of land, building, machinery, production and initial costs have to be carried out in the feasibility analysis.
In a business planning process, the top executives must ensure that the functional business strategic planning and process sync with the business goals. Once the feasibility analysis gives the go-ahead, a business plan draft is drawn up.
This draft involves preparing the following functional plans:
Marketing Plan – Business strategy for growth or marketing the product or service involving the four Ps of Product, Price, Promotion and Place.
Production/ Operation Plan – Production plans are for businesses involved in the manufacturing industry, while operation plans are for those in the service industry.
Organizational Plan – This plan deals with the organizational structure and the guidelines that focus on the organization’s culture.
Financial Plan – The financial plan deals with projected cash flows, projected break-even points, and projected balance sheets.
Human Resource Plan – This plan consists of details about staffing requirements, recruitment, selection, salaries and budget.
Project report preparation is a crucial part of every business planning process. Experts prepare the project report. This report acts as a plan of action that describes the goals and objectives of the business. It is a document that includes all relevant information regarding the proposed business and is a step-by-step description of the strategies involved in commencing and operating the business.
Project reports allow the business idea to take shape and turn into a productive venture with clear-cut business planning strategy. It helps track the progress of the business planning process and compare it with the original plan. It also identifies any risks or challenges and helps take corrective action whenever necessary.
The project report is prepared once the environmental scanning and feasibility analysis have been completed.
A well-planned marketing strategy and business development plan will help the business reach its target audience. Without a defined marketing strategy, you will be experimenting to find what works. Remember, this is costing you time, resources, and money.
A marketing strategy aligns your team to the specified goals and allows your business to identify your target audience.
To create an effective marketing strategy that contributes to the business planning process, follow the below steps:
The final part of your business planning strategy is evaluation and review. All the strategies prepared for a business are open to modifications due to internal and external factors. Managers need to determine whether the current strategy helps achieve the organization’s goals and objectives.
The critical evaluation, control and review activities include measuring performance based on the current strategy and taking corrective action to enhance or improve the business goal.
Business strategy planning means defining a company's goals and developing a plan to achieve those goals. Identifying the required resources, allocating the responsibilities and setting deadlines are essential parts of the business strategy planning.
Successful businesses continuously work to re-evaluate their business strategy and innovate to ensure that they are constantly delivering the results as promised to the stakeholders.
A lot of planning is based on past performance and present trends. Thus, it is vital to consider various analytic data while planning a Business Strategy.
Risks of the Operation
Comparing past and present data can give you a good idea of the risks involved in turning your dreams into reality.
After analyzing ample data, you will be able to predict or forecast, with high accuracy, the outcomes of carrying out the steps you are planning to take.
Decision-making Using Data
Analytics will help you make decisions based on precise data instead of gut feelings. It will present you with an added advantage over your competitors.
Analyzing Your Staff
When it comes to a group of personnel retiring or resigning, how do you ensure the business doesn't suffer? This question can be best answered by data-driven analytics. Only the data will tell you how to mix hiring and layoffs, retirements and inexperienced new joiners to stay on firm grounds.
Strategic Business Planning requires you to analyses the past demand and supply fluctuations due to different forces. It will help you insightfully forecast market dynamics and prevent massive business disruption.
Consider all the readily available options and create a unique system that works best for your business.
Businesses must investigate and test different probable future events that may impact the company's value.
It is paramount that businesses plan for different measures to mitigate future risks. It will save the company from suffering massive losses during challenging times.
After working with different kinds of businesses, BMGI has developed a robust process for business strategy planning. It encompasses all the aspects required for the best business strategy planning.
For the long-term goals, BMGI focuses on the following three aspects:
BMGI has a process in place for businesses to define how to implement their strategy as follows:
BMGI recommends the analysis of-
Discover your business's SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) and compare them against various scenarios to determine your position.
The assessments mentioned above, along with the understanding of its impact, in the long run, enable businesses to plan their business strategy efficiently.
The strategy used by BGMI focuses on specific parameters to efficiently organize and implement business plans for numerous companies. It enables BGMI to deliver consistent results. The impact of BGMI's strategies can be mainly attributed to the following vital areas:
A solid foundation to enable slow but steady growth for businesses. Many organizations succumb to the challenges presented by the organic growth strategy. But those who can endure it become industry leaders.
This growth route focuses on analyzing and implementing strategies for each business unit individually. It is a time-taken process, but the results can be brilliant in the long run.
This strategy is risky and requires the utmost knowledge of the running of the whole business. In this method, the senior management steers the direction of the entire organization based on its core principles and values.
Businesses look out for opportunities in places with potential for promising growth in the near future. Companies are finding such promises mostly in third world countries.
Taking small steps toward the uncertain future allows stable growth despite waves of changes. These models tend to stand the test of time.
Cars have had an enormous impact on Americans since the good old days. The three biggest American car companies ruled over the car market in the US. However, the Japanese car manufacturer, Toyota, did market analysis and started selling cheaper and more efficient cars during the '70s.
The US car companies did not worry about Toyota at first. They thought that Toyota must be losing money exporting their vehicles into the US at such low prices. However, within a few years, Toyota started production in the US.
Toyota soon became the largest car company in the US. But what was their business strategy for growth?
Of course, Toyota was using the cost leadership strategy. However, Toyota's manufacturing process was so efficient that it cost them far less to produce cars than American companies. Besides, Toyota’s supply chain management made a crucial difference in their survival, and it was a part of their business planning process.
The multi-billion-dollar idea began with the founders of Airbnb renting their mattresses to strangers. It was a business space no one had explored before.
They struggled to make ends meet initially, but they saw potential in their idea. So, the founders created a website where people could rent out their mattresses to travelers and strangers.
There were some scattered online bookings, but they were not enough to be a sustainable business. The founders conducted operational analysis and discovered that the problem was with poorly presented listings.
They visited all the nearby locations where people were renting out their mattresses. They moved things around to make them look more pleasing and clicked photos. After adding images to their website, the bookings started pouring in.
Then, they hired professional photographers to click photos of all the listings and their owners. The online orders kept skyrocketing.
The founders of Airbnb analyzed data to discover the one problem that was keeping them from succeeding in their revolutionary idea. Airbnb is now valued at over 100 billion Dollars!
Strategizing a Business Plan is the most important step a business can take to see real growth. It allows companies to be updated about upcoming opportunities and risks. It can provide companies with clarity on how they should steer their business for significant success.