Business Planning for the New Year
There are many components to help make a business become successful, such as hiring talented employees, providing timely and quality services/products, developing an empowering and inviting culture, etc. Another important component of a successful business is growth. If you are you are planning to grow your business in 2017, the first step is developing a good business plan to get there.
A business plan is essentially a roadmap for business success, which outlines the route a company intends to take to grow and strengthen their business over the next 1-5 years. Begin your plan by setting goals, defining strategies, assessing the market, identifying challenges, developing a budget, projecting inventory, and managing cash flow.
Most business plans focus on developing a strategy for the future and identifying the short-term and intermediate steps which must be taken to get there. Internal business plans help you:
- Define your business goals and initiatives
- Better understand the interworking of your business and business cycle
- Identify any bottlenecks or impasses and then identify an effective strategy to eliminate or work around them
- Evaluate current strategies and determine if they should be continued or reassessed
- Better predict revenue, expenses and future cash flows
Developing the plan
A sufficient business plan does not have to be complex, but it should have input from all major stakeholders in your company, including: managers and employees, investors, and potentially suppliers or major customers. There is no set format as to how your business plan should look. However, your plan should be detailed, focused, analytical and forward thinking.
There are many tools and guides available to you to help with putting your plan together. However, I think a great place to start is with one of First United Bank’s partners, the Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA’s website has great resources available to anyone on how to start a business, choosing a business structuring, filing and paying taxes, and writing your business plan. By clicking here, you can view the SBA’s guide on writing your business plan.
It provides insights on suggested content/sections, including:
- Executive summary
- Company description
- Market analysis
- Organization & management
- Service or product line
- Marketing & sales
- Funding requests (equity & debt)
- Financial projections
If you would like to simplify the planning process and develop specific solutions for your business, please call or visit any of our First United locations. Our range of solutions empower your business to plan well, grow wisely and reach your growth goals in 2017.