Before you even think about opening the doors to your new business, you must develop a plan. Business plans can vary in how they’re presented, but they should all follow the same format. It’s a map of what your business is about, what you want to achieve, and how you’ll accomplish these things. That’s the gist of it, but too many people leave out vital pieces of information that lead to failure. So, if your business plan sucks, then it’s probably because you’ve neglected to consider these crucial aspects:
Short-Term & Long-Term Goals
All business plans should include goals. The issue is that a lot of people forget to include both short-term and long-term goals. You may have one or the other, but you’re making a massive error by not having both.
Short term goals set you up for the initial stages of your startup. They help you hit the ground running and slowly build a successful company. Another mistake is to create too many short term goals, or that they’re way to unrealistic.
Long term goals are things you want to achieve in the future. They’re essential for keeping your business on the right path, and they also help investors see where you want to take the business. Again, an issue here is that these goals are sometimes too unrealistic or far too simplified, lacking any ambition.
Data Storage & Protection
Not something you think about when planning a business, and it will usually be your downfall. These days, you can’t afford to neglect data. Everything you do will end up creating data sources for your company. This includes your own business data, employee data, customer data, and so on.
It’s your job to decide how you’re going to manage all of this information. In your business plan, you should have a section that looks at different data storage/management options. There are loads of ways to store your data. Are you going to use a data lake or a different solution? Then, what will you do to keep all of this information as safe as possible? Too many people forget about this until it’s too late. They start a business, then end up with so many data security and management issues.
Finally, your business plan is atrocious if you don’t have a whole section that analyzes the competition. It’s good to focus on yourself, but you need to look at what your rivals are doing. This helps you figure out where your company will fit into the current market. It also lets you see how you can compete with everyone.
If you don’t analyze your competitors, then you’re setting your business up to fail. How can you genuinely have a business plan that doesn’t take your rivals into account? Learn what they’re up to, see their strengths/weaknesses – this helps you figure out your USP and how you can set yourself apart from the rest.
Don’t let your business plan suck! There’s still time to change things, so make sure you don’t neglect these three critical things. Spend lots of time creating your plan as it will play a vital role in whether or not your company is successful.