Would you believe me if I told you that in 2019, when most people hear the phrase ‘business plan’ they think of a frumpy old word document 50 pages long buried deep in a dark file room, with no other purpose but to collect dust?
I often mention the face that most brands nowadays compete on a global market. As the internet and communication technologies become more advanced, access to new markets and customer bases have become the norm. This access comes with it’s own set of challenges. More brands accessing more markets mean stiffer competition, more noise (communication) and inevitably smaller market shares.
One in three clients who first approach me regarding a business plan is uncertain whether they actually need a business plan, a business proposal or a business presentation or pitch deck. Most often, the consultation process begins with helping the client to identify their needs and my role in facilitating the business planning process. Indeed, there are times when the client’s needs are outside the sphere of niche services I offer, however, the exchange usually ends with the potential client being clarified regarding their needs. So, this article is designed to help the business owner decide which is the most suited to their needs.
Business writing is a skill that is necessary but constantly overlooked. It’s often misconstrued that basic writing and mediocre editing are not significant when presenting important information or documents, much to the contrary.
For a business or company putting out information, a most critical aspect of any publication or document is concise, direct and a clear representation of the information being provided.
The business model of your business is the structure that you plan to use to generate revenues. Choosing the right business model for your product or service is instrumental in capturing your business’ true revenue generation potential by extending product reach. It is important to also mention that many businesses employ several different business models, either separately or in unison to facilitate several revenue streams.
A communications’ strategy is as much a part of business planning as is developing one’s business model, and while messages and audiences differ vastly among industries and audiences, it is of equal, paramount significance.
A business plan is a strategic planning tool for entrepreneurs. A properly structured business plan not only helps entrepreneurs to focus on the specific steps necessary act on business ideas but also functions as a roadmap them to achieve both their short-term and long-term objectives. A business plan is imperative for a business to attract funding. Banks and other investors want to clearly make the connection between how the entrepreneur will be using capital and how that will translate into a return on their investment.
Although many entrepreneurs know the importance of a business plan, for most startups, funding is a challenge and business consultants are not cheap. The average cost for a business plan ranges between US$500-US$3000. This range is wide, however, it reflects the true variant levels of the needs entrepreneurs and businesses. Additionally, business plans are not static documents and should be reviewed and updated at least annually.
For serial entrepreneurs, these costs add up quickly.
Learn A Skill
By being equipped to write business plans, an entrepreneur positions their business and themselves to take advantage of more opportunities. In a competitive marketplace, self-development and learning are crucial.
For this reason, I have decided to offer a workshop. Repeatedly requested by clients of mine and other business professionals within my network, it’ scheduled to take place at the Council of Voluntary Services, 2D Camp Road Kingston 5, Jamaica on March 23, 2019.
This full-day Business Plan Writing workshop is a pre-registered event designed for business owners and entrepreneurs who are ready to acquire the necessary skills requires to create a business plan. The process is simplified and broken down into digestible sections. All the essential steps are covered, including drafting the original document; identifying the audience; gathering information; researching; describing product plans; and marketing, sales, and accounting terms. Participants will come away from the workshop confident and prepared to write a business plan.
The workshop aims to teach participants how to:
– Research and analyze the individual components needed for a business plan
– Apply skills to create a business plan for different audiences, including investors, banks, and other stakeholders
– Explain the purpose and future of their business in easy to understand terms
– Use accounting terms to describe the future for their business
– Describe their marketing, sales, and planning strategies
As this year comes to a close, I am reminded of everything that I have been able to accomplish, both individually and as a part of an amazing and supportive behind-the-scenes team. We sincerely would like to thank you, our clients, suppliers, supporters and partners who have made 2018 an incredible year of growth, successes and realized opportunities for us, and by extension my brand.
Each project was a challenge and a phenomenal success – thanks to your vision and commitment, often requiring clarity and an extension of skills that has served as a catalyst for improvement, change and innovation. I will treasure the experience as well as the lessons.
I am especially grateful for your flexibility, patience and the opportunity to have served you in the past year and towards continued partnerships in 2019.
Please do not hesitate to let me know how I can improve on your service experience.
With that, my team and I wish for you a wonderful holiday season filled with good feelings and a prosperous and successful 2019!.
Have you ever tried to write a business plan? It’s not the easiest task for someone with no experience in business (despite what the draft articles on the internet say). If it were, business plan consultant wouldn’t come with a US$2,000 – US$15,000. (Don’t worry, I don’t charge that much for simple, standard plans.). Most entrepreneurs taking the time to write a complete business plan understands the usefulness of same.
Many individuals and budding entrepreneurs make the mistake of sticking too rigidly to their business plan or simply failing to realize it needs updating. It’s a common trap to fall into. While your business plan is a guide, it isn’t set in stone and shouldn’t be treated as such. You must be flexible and adapt to realities versus perception, changing markets, economies, needs and environs etc.If you are flexible and making strides on opportunities that have been presented since writing, updating should be done to reflect that.
When it comes to your business, whether you have decided to leave the routine 9-5, expand your business or optimize operational efficiency if you are eyeing change, chances are, you need a consultant.
If you are;
Operating a business,
Planning a business idea
Planning to expand your business
Planning a specific project for your business
Looking to apply structure to your business
Need assistance with branding or marketing strategies.
Even if you are merely thinking about any of the above, you may need a business consultant.
Although a business/business owner may not think they need business consulting services at the beginning of the venture or the planning of same, this is an ideal time to work with a consultant. Fleshing out your plans and ideas in a realistic way can eliminate stumbles relating to operational efficiency and prevent stagnation and growth. Costs for the service is significantly lower at this stage and provides a clear, decisive plan of action.
It is always best to know where you want your business to go and more importantly, how you will get there. Proactive business planning can prevent failure and with statistics showing that 90% of start-ups fail, whatever competitive advantage one can offer their business and better the odds. Sound business planning is one such advantage.
Notwithstanding that the above is true, a business consultant is helpful and effective at ANY stage, for startup, growth or change management and even some cases, to save the business from failure. Likely, there will be more issues to resolve and work around at the latter stages and will usually require some amount of urgency, but it can be done and effectively. In such an instance where assistance is required post-haste, the business at that time must be prepared for intervention at a later stage to cost more than at an earlier interject. After all, prevention is always less expensive than to cure and at the intervention stage can be costly. The cost must be considered with a failing business. Can the business afford intervention at that time? Not always.
Consider a scenario in which an individual/group of individuals (my niche is small businesses) or company has been operating for a bit without structure. As the business either grows or becomes stagnant in its growth, the business owner is now unsure what steps to take and searches frantically for the means to effectively manage and compartmentalize growth through strategic structuring or identification of opportunities that may available yet unexplored for that specific business or industry. In any of the aforementioned circumstances, an effective consultant will assist you in many areas, including operating efficiency and maximization of resources and opportunities.
Once you have a business or the decision to start one, a business consultant is a distinctive resource and can be engaged at virtually any stage of your business’ life cycle. A good consultant can be an invaluable investment.