By Jude Obuseh
(AGENDAWATCHDOG) I have come across a lot of budding entrepreneurs rearing to go, but have discovered on close observation that most of them, despite having fantastic business ideas, alongside the financial resources for starting a business, lack the most crucial ingredient that determines business success in the long run: well-crafted Business Plans.
Starting a business without adequate planning is a sure path to disaster. Every step, action and decision you intend to make in business must be thoroughly planned. According to Robert Green in his classic, 48 Laws Of power (1998), “the end is everything. Plan all the way to it, taking into consideration all the possible consequences, obstacle, and twists of fortune that might reverse your hard work and give glory to others. By planning to the end, you will not be overwhelmed by circumstances and you will know when to stop”.
The truth is that your success in business is not solely dependent on your skills and experiences, but also on your strategies and modus operandi. As no captain can navigate a ship safely to shore without a functioning compass and rudder, no business can succeed without an objective, well-crafted plan. This is where a well-written business plan becomes expedient.
A well-written business plan is like a compass that helps you navigate through the murky waters of the business world to the shores of success. It keeps you on course and prevents your ship from sailing into the tempestuous waters of the business world. Like an early-warning system, it alerts you of impending danger by sounding the alarm bells when it seems you are losing focus and deviating from your mission and vision statements. It is your manifesto containing the statement of intent and line of action of your business.
A strategic business plan should contain the mission, vision and objectives (long and short term) of your company such as:
- Where would you like your company to be in the next one, five or ten years?
- What would you like the income statement of your company to read at the end of one, five or ten years?
- How large would you like your company to be in the next couple of years?
- How much are you willing to plough into your business at its inception and in subsequent years?
Putting together a standard business plan should involve:
- Identifying your Competitive Strategies
- Analyzing your Profits and Costs for each business segment
- Creating a Marketing Plan
- Creating a Human Resources Plan
- Creating a facilities Plan
- Creating a Customer Service Plan, and
- Formulating your Financial Plan.
Your business plan is simply a list of your company’s projected projects and their expected results. Plan your work and work your plan. Success is in the planning.
A business with a well-crafted plan enables you, the entrepreneur, to see into the future “with as much clarity as the gods on Mount Olympus, who look through the clouds and see the end of all things”, according to Robert Green (Ibid); it enables you see several steps ahead, and plan your strategies sequentially. Like a Chess Grandmaster, you will not be overawed when serious challenges rear their ugly heads along the line. Your clearly laid-out plans will shield you from the hiccups and heartaches that are the major reasons why many promising ventures fail.
A well-crafted business plan is the omnipotent strategy of most successful enterprises (large and small scale). The other pillars of business rest on it, for without a comprehensive plan, your business is as good as dead on arrival. Nothing can take the place of adequate planning. No general can lead an army into battle without a battle plan. There is absolutely no reversal to this rule.
Stay with me on this page for more strategic business and sundry other tips. Keep keeping safe.