Some business gurus will tell you that without a good business plan, your chances of success are minimal at best, and with that in mind, it is obviously essential that you have a solid plan of action that outlines how you will manage to carve out your share of the market. Giving your Enterprise Direction One purpose of creating a business plan is to have a firm direction, to know where you are going, with information about marketing strategies and long-term forecasts, and while you are able to divert from the plan, should circumstances change, once the plan is set, it gives you, the business owner, firm direction. Market Research Whatever the products or services you choose, it is vital that you do some thorough market research, as you need to be certain that there is a demand, and that the future of your chosen industry is promising. It is very easy to adopt a positive approach, as you do want your business succeed, so it is a good idea to ask other people to play devil’s advocate and try to find weaknesses in your marketing strategies. Executive Summary This short section is found at the front of the plan, which outlines what the business is about and also gives a detailed description of the organization. This could be a few paragraphs that is an overview of the organisation and summarizes the overall scope of the business. If your business has a concept then this should be described in this section Organization Flowchart It is important to outline the structure of the company, showing who is running the business, along with details of management and other potential roles within the organisation. This might include sales & marketing, manufacturing, logistics and customer support, and any other departments, and by creating the flowchart, you are very aware of what the business needs in order to help be successful. Marketing & Sales You could enroll an Adwords agency in Bristol, which would provide you with qualified leads and an extra source of revenue, and your digital marketing partner would compile a comprehensive plan that outlines the various strategies you will use to create a revenue. Your marketing plan would contain information about how you intend to enter specific markets, plus details of contractual liabilities. You might, for example, be planning to present your products at trade shows and the details would be included in your marketing plan. Start-Up & Capital Your business plan should include a section about initial funding, with a detailed account of items purchased to set up the business, along with running costs and a list of assets. If you have made acquisitions for the business, they would be listed, and in another column, leasing and rental costs, plus a document that details the current and projected running costs. Again, this would be another area of interest to potential investors, who would like to know where the investment capital is used. Profit Forecasts This section would forecast your expected gross revenue, along with the predicted profit, for at least the first 5 years and maybe up to 10 years. This section would be particularly interesting for potential investors, who would like some idea of the expected revenues over a period of years. Doing this would enable you get a realistic idea of how well your business will do, and as time passes, you can use these forecasts as a benchmark, making sure that you are on track. Flexibility As every business is dynamic and situations can quickly change, your business plan needs to be flexible, and should you feel the need to make changes, you should consult with your managers and see if you can adapt your plan to better meet the company’s needs. Revision Once you feel your business plan is complete, you should then hand it to at least one business expert and ask them to look the plan over, specifically looking for weaknesses or potential issues. More often than not, they will find things and you and your team need to review these areas, looking to make improvements, and once this is done, your plan should be something you can refer to at every step of the process. Investment In the event that you are looking for investors, your business plan would be critical, and a potential investor might base their decision solely on the merits of the plan, and you should be able to answer any questions the investor might have. If you are looking for funding, it is a good idea to have some professional help with your business plan, as this will ensure that your concept is clearly represented, and hopefully, you will receive the investment and go on to make a success of your business over the short, medium and long term. Planning is always the key area, with careful planning you should sail through any meeting.