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Have you planned for the growth of your business?

A practical guide to make your plan work

Every business starts with a vision, which is distilled and communicated through a business plan. In addition to your high-level hopes and dreams, a strong business plan outlines short-term and long-term goals, budget and whatever else you might need to get started. This article gives a practical guideline on how to craft a winning business plan.

Compiled by Bianca Mashao

A businesswoman on the phone

You have to start with market research

Conducting market research is crucial for businesses to gain valuable insights into their target market, competitors, and industry trends. By collecting and analyzing data, businesses can make informed decisions, identify customer needs and preferences, and develop effective business strategies. This research helps in understanding consumer behavior, identifying market opportunities, and staying ahead in a competitive market. Overall, conducting market research is essential for businesses to succeed and thrive in today’s dynamic business environment.

Create a company description

In the company description, you’ll need to include your business registered name, your business address and any key employees involved in the business. The business description should also include the structure of your company, such as sole proprietorship, private company PTY (Ltd), partnership or even a non-profit organization.

This is the time to specify how much of an ownership stake everyone has in the company. Finally, include a section that outlines the history of the company and how it has evolved over time.

Brainstorm Your Business Goals

Wherever you are on the business journey, you return to your goals and assess where you are in meeting your in-progress targets and setting new goals to work toward.

  • Numbers-based goals Goals can cover a variety of sections of your business. Financial and profit goals are given for when you’re establishing your business, but there are other goals to take into account as well with regard to brand awareness and growth. For example, you might want to hit a certain number of followers across social media channels or raise your engagement rates. Another goal could be to attract new investors or find grants if you’re a non-profit business. If you’re looking to grow, you’ll want to set revenue targets to make that happen.

  • Intangible goals Goals unrelated to traceable numbers are important as well. These can include seeing your business’s advertisement reach the general public or receiving a terrific client review. These goals are important for the direction you take your business and the direction you want it to go in the future.

Describe your services or products

The business plan should have a section that explains the services or products that you’re offering. This is the part where you can also describe how they fit in the current market or are providing something necessary or entirely new. If you have any patents or trademarks, this is where you can include those too. This would also be a good place to include pricing strategy and explain your materials.

Create financial plans

Other than financial goals, you want to have a budget and set your planned weekly, monthly and annual spending. There are several different costs to consider, such as operational costs.

Business Operations Costs

Rent for your business is the first big cost to factor into your budget. If your business is remote, the cost that replaces rent will be the software that maintains your virtual operations. Marketing and sales costs should be next on your list.

Other costs

Although you can’t anticipate disasters, there are likely to be unanticipated costs that come up at some point in your business’s existence.

Bottom line

Business plans are important for businesses of all sizes so that you can define where your business is and where you want it to go.



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Editor's note

American novelist Louisa May Alcott said it best when she said “Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”

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