Eisenhower once said, “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” If you’re starting a business, you should have a business plan regardless of whether you’re bootstrapping it or looking for outside funding.
The best sorts of business plans tell a clear story of what the company plans to do and how it will do it.
So prioritise your strategies and choose one or maybe two to implement each quarter. Once you have your tactical strategies, break them down into action items.
Think about the timings of these – what order things need to be done in and the timing between them.
But these never suited the business plan format I wanted.
I was hunting for a business plan format that is simple, helps with decisions, results-focussed, and extremely actionable.
Make sure no action item is too big – it should be something you can tick off as completed and not get bogged down in.
Also make sure that if you did all of the action items associated with a certain tactical strategy, you’d be pretty sure it would be completed successfully.
In most cases, your goal should be either a profit or revenue goal.
(For some businesses, growth is most important and cost management is not too big of an issue so focussing on revenues makes more sense.) If you have (or wish to have) multiple revenue sources, you can break your goal down this way.