With all the effort that goes into creating, operating, and growing a business, planning is one of the essential drivers of success. Even a creative genius without a plan will find his/her efforts doomed. As former baseball great Yogi Berra said, “Without a plan, even the most brilliant business can get lost. You need to have goals, create milestones, and have a strategy in place to set yourself up for success.” In his more humorous style, he also said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.” Thus, it is critical to create a business plan that defines a clear path toward success. 

Reasons You Need to Create a Business Plan 

First, through the process of creating a business plan, business leaders can get a solid assessment of whether their efforts will succeed. 

Second, a business plan should include significant goals and milestones that essentially create a roadmap to be followed.  

Third, when you create a business plan you reduce the risks of having your business fail due to unexpected problems and challenges.  

Fourth, having a complete business plan is key to securing loans and investments.  

Fifth, your business plan will guide your allocation of resources and your planned purchases. 

Sixth, having a well-developed business plan will help your business attract, develop, and retain desirable talent so that you can build an enduring and effective team. 

Seventh, a plan is a useful means of sharing your vision and guiding your team.  

Eighth, a key component shaped by the goals and milestones defined in your business plan is a marketing strategy. It will be thoroughly integrated into the business plan and will include the components of customer targeting, defining the business’ value proposition, determining a marketing budget, directing pricing, and customer service strategies. 

Ninth, a business plan is critical in shaping your business and positioning it successfully against competition.  

Tenth, a business plan helps focus your energy and prevents you from chasing matters that will pull you away from your defined roadmap.  

Eleventh, it provides a way for you to track your progress, define, and measure your success. 

How to Create a Business Plan 

Follow these steps to create a business plan 

  1. Write a description of your enterprise. Why are you in business, what do you do, and why you are different from your competitors? Your information should include your business model, your vision, mission, and value proposition, and your business objectives. 
  2. Include an analysis of the market. How big is the market? Analyze the competitive framework. 
  3. Explain the organizational structure and the leadership team. 
  4. Define your products and services. 
  5. Define your target market.  
  6. Develop your marketing plan including the elements of product/service, place, price, and promotion. 
  7. Provide the details of your operations and logistical plans including the elements of suppliers, production facilities and processes, equipment, inventory, shipping, and fulfillment. 
  8. Include a thorough financial plan including three critical financial views: an income statement, a balance sheet, and cash flow statement. 

Why is Identifying a Target Market So Important? 

An essential focus to create a business plan is the identification of a target market. Renowned American author and business consultant, Philip Kotler has stated, “There is only one winning strategy. It is to carefully define the target market and direct a superior offering to that target market.”  

The target market is the defined group of customers that you most want to reach; to market and sell to. It should be specifically defined based on research.  

Step one, identify your current customers in terms of age, location, spending power and spending patterns, customer interests, challenges, and life stages.  

Step two, identify the competition. Understand their target markets. 

Step three, identify markets that have the most potential for you to pursue. 

Step four, clarify the value of your product or service in terms of customer benefits. 

Seek Professional Business Coaching Assistance 

Contact Blue Diamond Consultants, doing business nationwide for coaching services based on extensive experience through previous success for home service provider businesses.