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.
Before we dive into the specifics, let me hasten to advise that the information I am about to provide is highly subjective. There are several factors that will determine, where your client leads come from. As a matter of fact, one piece of information the internet often fails to offer, is that leads also to a high degree depend on the individual knowing their strengths. Content is great, but there are so many content types out there, a person has no business neglecting areas of strength to follow the crowd. But, I digress.
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.
When Instagram announced a few weeks ago that it would be updating the app to allow for hour-long videos, the social media community (myself included) was very sceptical. However, the feature launch of IGTV for content creators have set the industry abuzz since the release.
IGTV was released earlier today as a feature accessible inside the Instagram app, as well as a stand-alone app available free for iOS and Android devices.
The One Billion users strong community continues to gain traction, as regular forms of media become less favourable to millennials.
This development will bring to a head the direct competition between YouTube and Instagram.
Influencers will have the opportunity to build and interact with their audience from a single platform. At a time when changes in the algorithms force business accounts to spend on advertising to increase their reach, Instagram has now offered the ability to extend that reach.
Content strategists have been aware for some time that video content has a greater value in terms of reach and interaction, yet, are somewhat expensive to create. IGTV is now giving even more power to the smart phone, empowering smaller content creators and splitting open the market for new entrants.
Of course, the IGTV is still fresh on the market and doesn’t feature ads just yet. But we know it is coming. Until then, there is much to discover and harness from it from a brand-building perspective.
As Instagram continues to expand, we have seen the consistent growth of the community and consequently, influence.
It is hoped that the local market (Jamaica) understands the implications and that small business who have been lagging will take the steps necessary to build upon and improve wholesome digital strategies.
“It’s painful how slowly the Jamaican market, particularly corporate Jamaica is reacting to the digital market. Traditional forms of media and advertising are still preferable to corporate companies, despite the fact that primary target audiences converge in millions on digital platforms” said Shandean Reid, Freelance Business Planner & Content Strategist.
“Clients tend to ask what platform is my favourite and why. My answer has always been Instagram. The opportunities and potential are staggering, and the market continues to grow daily. This proves it. I’m excited!” Reid continues.