New year, fresh start. What's better than kicking off the year with a fresh Business Plan?
I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to getting seriously organised for 2016 (classic Type A here), especially with regards to my business.
I started out 2015 with no real plan of action, but things seem to have happened quickly and now I wish I had set some goals so that I could see how far I've come.
And THAT'S why I've created my 2016 Business Plan! I'm so keen for this that I thought I'd share the structure I've used in a template for you.
I've specifically tailored this for small creative business owners and entrepreneurs, who want to use this internally to keep themselves on track.
I personally prefer taking an Agile approach to business, so I don't really like huge 50-page document plans that are really specific and record what I'll be doing every day of the year, and thus, you'll find this plan is more of a guideline.
Here's an overview of what's in it:
Summary & Goals
Perhaps the most key part of the plan, getting all your goals, ideas and ambitions onto paper is a great way to get started (and get you excited!).
When setting goals and objectives, making sure they're SMART is important for being able to measure your progress.
Customers & competitors
So while you've talked about what you're offering and why in the other sections, this section is where you need to start thinking about your market.
Time to really get to know your customer and their habits, and consider how you're going to encourage loyalty in your brand too. Understanding where you place amongst your competitors is important too, and you may find it useful to complete a competitor SWOT analysis.
products & services
In this section, you can write down what your offerings are, and your processes too if you need to.
As well as where these offerings will be available, and how much for, I also like to consider the 'why'. Why are you offering these products/services, and how is it going to benefit your business?
Ahh my favourite part (kinda sarcastic, kinda not...).
As a marketer, this is the part I know most about, but it's also the most detailed (and hardest) part to fill in and implement.
Whether it's online or offline, marketing take a lot of time and effort, but it really is a necessary part of your business plan.
financials & measurement
And then we have the most boring section, in my opinion of course!
While this part of a business plan can go on forever for some businesses, I've kept mine really short and sweet. Only include the necessary is what I say.
These bits are probably the bits that you'll want to keep updated throughout the year so that you can check you're on track with your goals!
Are you ready to get organised for 2016?