A Strategic Business Plan is much more than a tool to obtain financing. If you still have all your plans and ideas locked up inside your head, preparing a strategic plan can help you clarify your company's direction. It can ensure that your key leaders are all on the same page and keeps both management and staff focused on the tasks at hand.
- A Strategic Plan is often needed when…
- Starting a new venture, product or service
- Expanding a current organization, product or service
- Buying a new business, product or service
- Turning around a declining business
The Strategic Plan provides a blueprint, describing your company, its products, the competitive environment, management team, financial health, and business risks.
The plan allows you to…
- Identify and describe the target customer profile, features, advantages, and benefits of your new venture, product or service.
- Justify that your plans are credible by fully researching the need being filled with your new venture.
- Develop marketing plans including full descriptions of targeted promotional campaigns with implementation timelines. You also get to examine market conditions, the nature of your customers, as well as your competitors, sales potential, and projected results of your promotional campaigns.
- Develop staffing plans including identifying the key players, skills, attitudes, and expertise needed to build the venture.
- Develop management plans including full descriptions of management systems and timelines for implementation.
- Develop financial plans including projected startup costs, operating costs, revenue, profits, and break-even analysis for the first 3 to 5 years.
- Projected financial plans allow you to effectively predict upcoming problems, or prevent them. In other words, the perspective gained through your Strategic Business Plan can make a significant contribution to your company's success, and help you get the funding you require. In fact, most lending institutions and private investors will not even talk to you without a solid financial plan.
- Identify building and equipment needs including vendors and cost estimates.
- Formulate company milestones including timelines for upcoming products and services in development.
Remember: Failing to plan is planning to fail.
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