Before you make any big decisions, you’ll likely think through your options—whether they’re feasible or not.
Imagine buying the first house you see or investing a significant chunk of your savings in a product that you don’t understand. Any decision can be made only after proper evaluation, which involves a process.
The same goes for any business. To make it successful, you would need a business planning process. A business plan is a rulebook that explains the what, why and how of any new project. It could be market expansion, increasing sales or investing in new technology. Even to start a new business, you would need an effective and sound strategy.
Let’s explore the different steps in the business planning process to understand how you can create a business plan for your needs.
What Is The Business Planning Process?
The business planning process requires you to define your goals, understand what you need to accomplish them and implement a sound business strategy.
Let’s take an example. Say, you want to start your own website. Here are the steps in preparation of a business plan:
The first step is to define why you need a website. Maybe it’s to start a personal blog or your own online shop.
The second step is the technical aspect of this venture. You have to either learn how to code yourself or hire a professional web designer.
The third step is to form a team and assign duties. If you’re working alone, you can use this opportunity to list your tasks and make a personal schedule.
The final step is implementation. You can finally launch your website once you’ve ironed out the details.
Carefully considering each aspect of the business planning process helps you move forward in a timely, efficient and streamlined manner. You’re able to stay on top of things and measure your progress against predetermined targets.
Steps In The Business Planning Process
It’s important to understand the steps in the preparation of a business plan before you can start your business planning process. If you go in without a strategy, you’ll find yourself in a maze with no exit. Spend some time to write down all the business plan steps before you take action.
Here are the four business plan steps to guide you in your professional journey:
What Do You Want To Do?
Whenever you start something new, you collect relevant information and understand which direction you want to move in. The best way to start your business planning process is to define what you want to do and why. Whether you’re planning to start your own business, meeting investors or expanding your existing business, identifying your goals will put you on the right track. It’ll also allow you to assess what you need—resources, people and budget—to achieve your goals.
How Will You Make Your Plan Work?
This is the step where you create an action plan for the future. Once you’ve understood the what and why, it’s time to determine the how. You can create business strategies, set a budget and assess the available resources. Remember to take inputs from your team members if you’re working in a group. It’s important to ask the right questions here so that everyone’s on the same page.
Who’s Going To Do What?
A business plan usually involves a group of people who are responsible for different tasks. Even though tasks may be interdependent, it’s still advisable to assign roles right in the beginning. For example, if you’re creating a marketing strategy, someone who’s good at social media marketing can take charge of that aspect of the business plan. Working collaboratively can help you get from point A to point B with minimal errors and challenges. This step requires critical thinking to understand the skills and abilities of different team members.
Implementing Your Business Plan
Finally, the time has come to take action. You’ve created business strategies, assigned roles and defined expectations. Now, you can put your plan into action. Monitor its progress against metrics like deadlines and follow up to study the results. In case there are any errors, you can go back and make the necessary changes. You should always leave room to make changes to accommodate setbacks or unexpected events like a change in official policies or employee turnover.
You must gain a deeper understanding of the business plan steps to achieve optimal results. Learn more about how you can assess information, understand different perspectives and ask relevant questions with Harappa Education’s Thinking Critically course. Our self-paced and high-impact online course is designed to help you make insightful observations to reach effective results.
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