Small Business Plan Steps

7 Key Small Business Plan steps to grow your small business.7 Small Business Plan Steps

Small Business Plan Steps:

A Small Business Plan is a blueprint or an overview of where you want your business to go in the short and long term. Some people think that business plans needs to be a big comprehensive document with all the intricate details of how you are going to build your business.

I have tried to use a comprehensive business plan but I have found that it just sits on the shelf collecting dust! There is sooo much in them that it doesn't give you the real action plan of what you need to do day to day.

But look, if this is the first time you are starting a business I suggest you definitely need to start with this to determine if your business is going to be profitable and if your passion is going to provide you with the income too. If you need a free template to work out if starting the business that you are really enthusiastic about I have found a really useful and thorough one at the QLD Government Business website. It is comprehensive but simple with clear instructions. Click Here to download the free template for you to start working on in your business so that you have a road map for your businesses growth and to download some samples for you to look at.

The Key 7 Small Business Plan Steps to grow you business!

  • Business Goals: - You need to define your key objectives for growing the business. You have to set your income goals, why your product or service will be better than any other on the market and also the time frame that you estimate it will take you to achieve your business goals. Without knowing what it is that you want to achieve you will just be floundering through the business and trying to wing it each day. You need to know what the ultimate goal is and the key things that you need to do each day, week, month to achieve that goal.
  • Analysing the market: - You need to complete a SWOT Analysis so that you know where you stand before you start. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Strengths and Weaknesses are internal and are about you and what you can control. Opportunities and Threats are external to you and your business and beyond your control. Even though it is beyond your control you can still manage the risk and the first step is to identify them.
  • Knowing your competitors: - Who are your competitors in your current or planned business? What makes your better or different to them so that people will buy from you? This information needs to worked out so that you are really clear on how you will market your business and talk to your customers about your differences so that they know why they want to buy from you
  • Risk and Legals: - Working out your business structure is usually completed before you start your business but it is always good to review the legal structure before you plan to take your business to the next stage. Part of this process is assessing the risk that is exposed to you and your family depending on the type of structure you choose. Growing a business always exposes you to more risk so it is really worthwhile to get some advise from your legal and accounting team about this section.
  • Operational Plans: - It is soooo important to understand the operations and pull together systems, plans and procedures for all areas of your operation so that if you aren't able to do the task yourself or you need to employ others you need to be really really CLEAR about what you want from them. The more that you can have together in an operations manual the easier you life will be in the future. In your business plan you just need to summarise these key operational areas that are key to your businesses success and the manuals can come later as you grow your business.
  • Cash Flow, Cash Flow, Cash Flow: - Finance and cash flow is the key step in ensuring that a new business or an existing business wanting to grow survives! If you want to succeed in your small business you need to analyse every area of your cash flow. If you don't understand financial statements you need to learn how to read them and what they mean .... NOW! Or yesterday really!! This is the biggest issue for most small business owners and it is vital that you understand it even if you outsource the bookkeeping.
  • Finally ... Action your plans: - After putting all the work into your business plan you need to Action it! This is the final step to the plan and the way that I manage the day to day actions. I use a Small Business Action Plan list to achieve the key business objectives and to keep my focused on the priorities I identified in the business plan.

After owning and managing small to medium businesses for over 18 years Tammy Love is Ms Small Biz -- she has a love/hate relationship with business! She knows first hand that it is really exciting to grow something and provide the best possible service/product for customers but yet it can also be tiring, hard and down right exhausting! She also knows how lonely that it can be being a business owner. She is using her website | Facebook page and Twitter to help others achieve their dream of starting or getting through the beast that is small business!

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