Author Topic: Developing a Business Plan and Model  (Read 563 times)

Offline Sultan Mahmud Sujon

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Developing a Business Plan and Model
« on: July 21, 2015, 11:01:11 AM »
Small business success depends not only on a great idea but also on a great strategy for making that idea profitable.



BUSINESS ADVICE

Small business success depends not only on a great idea but also on a great strategy for making that idea profitable.

What prompted you to launch your small business? If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you were driven by your desire to solve a problem or address a need that you’d identified. But while you’re helping customers to meet the challenges they face, your company must confront an additional challenge: how to generate a reliable stream of revenue and income. While your business plan sets out your company’s structure and operations, your business model maps out how it will achieve and sustain profitability.

Whether you’re launching an entirely new enterprise, expanding your product or service lines, or moving into new geographical regions or industries, your business model is designed to help you establish the company’s financial targets and track its progress against those goals. One of its key components is a competitive analysis, which helps you to define your market area and the way you’ll interact with customers.

“If you make a decision based on a lack of or poor information, there’s no way you can make a good decision,” says James King, state director of the New York Small Business Development Center. “Information gathering is something you should be doing on a continual basis, because consumer purchasing patterns change rather rapidly--and if you’re not ahead of your consumers, you’re not making sales.”

Thinking beyond your immediate business circumstances doesn’t just mean looking to the future. It can also mean making sure that your current operations are in synch with immediate customer needs and expectations.

Your Web presence is a case in point. Even if you’re not engaged in e-commerce, your customers expect to be able to research their purchases online. “If a business--no matter how small--doesn’t have at least a basic Web presence and provide enough information so someone can make an informed decision on a purchase, they’re probably missing a huge percentage of their market,” King says. Remember, too, that your customers are accessing online information via a variety of devices and expect your website to be optimized for mobile.

And conversely, if your growth plans involve serving a larger geographic market via e-commerce, your business model needs to account for the expenses related to your fulfillment and distribution strategy.

Once you’re confident in your business model, review it with a trusted advisor--one who isn’t afraid to shake your confidence by playing devil’s advocate, King advises. “Sit down with someone who doesn’t have a vested interest, and ask them to poke holes in your model. And if they do a good job, you’re going to be better prepared for any eventuality.” He also recommends consulting advisors who have the expertise to help you work through specific concerns. For example, your lawyer could assist you in assessing and mitigating areas of potential liability. “The more risk you can eliminate, the higher the probability that you’re going to be successful.”

The final step in the process is to repeat it from the beginning--to revisit your business plan and model as your company reaches certain milestones, or your industry undergoes a shift, or changes in market conditions have the potential to alter your competitive position. If nothing else, you’ll be able to approach your business model review with information that you didn’t have earlier: data that tells you how your performance has compared with your projections and where opportunities have been greater or smaller than anticipated. By making use of continually evolving information about your business, customers, employees, industry, and market, you can fine-tune your plans for growth and create a strategy for long-term success.

 

RESOURCES

These business plan and model resources can strengthen your strategy for achieving your full profit potential.

A strong business plan is like a good owner’s manual: it tells you what you need to know to keep your company running like a well-oiled machine. These resources can help guide you through the process of developing, revisiting, and revising your business plan and ensuring that your business model captures all the factors that determine your company’s sustained profitability.

1. New York State Small Business Development Center

Its step-by-step guide to creating condensed and detailed business plans, A Practical Guide to Preparing Your Business Plan, is published in English and Spanish.

2. SBA.gov

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s password-protected online Build Your Business Plan tool includes a step-by-step guide and automatically updates your plan as you complete each section.

3. Kauffman Founder’s School

This project of the Kauffman Foundation gives you access to a free Business Model Canvas “From Idea to Business” video series.

In addition, it offers a five-page Business Plan Checklist excerpted from its FastTrac GrowthVenture resource.

4. Nolo
The publisher and legal resource offers these references to help you:

• Assess the new venture’s prospects for making money

• Conduct financial forecasting

5. Spark Business IQ
This always-on resource for business owners provides you with access to growth strategies, tips, and tools that will help you improve your company's profitability andignite positive change for your business.

CHECKLIST

Check your company’s operational structure against this list of business model priorities.

A business plan describes a company, but a business model describes how that company will make money. To achieve that goal and project those outcomes accurately, your business model should provide answers to these key questions:

 What are the size and characteristics of my primary market?
 Who are my prospective customers?
 What are their purchasing habits?
 Where are they purchasing these products or services now?
 Why should they buy from my company instead?
 How can I earn their repeat business once I’ve made an initial sale?
 What opportunities do I have to add value not offered by my competitors in this market?
 If my customers are all local, what is my most productive strategy for community participation?
 If my customers are not all local, what are my best fulfillment and distribution options?

FUTURE FILE

The virtual workforce: no longer futuristic, remote workers are raising productivity and profits now.

According to a Global Workplace Analytics study of employees (not consultants or the self-employed) in the U.S. workforce, telecommuting rose 79.7 percent from 2005 to 2012. The trend is expected to continue, Forrester Research, Inc. says: “Fueled by broadband adoption, better collaboration tools, and growing management experience, the U.S. telecommuting ranks will swell to 63 million by 2016.”

The surprise in these statistics is that they point to a strategy for strengthening your business model. Based on its review of more than 500 studies related to the impact of telecommuting, Global Workplace Analytics reports that telecommuting:

• Improves employee satisfaction: 80 percent of employees consider it a perk, and 36 percent would choose it over a raise.
• Reduces attrition: “46 percent of companies that allow telework say it has reduced attrition,” and “95 percent of employers say telework has a high impact on employee retention.”
• Increases productivity: workplace distractions cost $600 billion annually, and companies studied reported productivity hikes as high as 45 percent after they allowed telecommuting.
• Saves employers money: “Nearly six out of ten employers identify cost savings as a significant benefit to telecommuting.”

Could your business model benefit from a boost in staff productivity, greater employee engagement, reduced absenteeism, lower real estate expenses, and a drop in employee recruitment, turnover, and training costs? By integrating full- or part-time telecommuting options into your business plan, you may be able to achieve each of these goals in a single move--all while keeping your company competitive and on trend as an employer of choice.

Source: http://blog.venture.com.bd/developing-a-business-plan-and-model/

Offline mostafiz.eee

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Re: Developing a Business Plan and Model
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2015, 12:09:08 PM »
Good to know.

Offline 710001983

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Re: Developing a Business Plan and Model
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2018, 02:45:39 PM »
Informative.
Md. Imdadul Haque
Lecturer
Department of Public Health
Daffodil International University
Dhaka-1207