Does a Business Plan require goals?

Discussion in 'Starting a Business' started by JamesC, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. JamesC

    JamesC
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    Hello everyone,

    My business has been steadily growing for the last couple of years. I'm not looking for any sort of loan or investment; however, I have been told that I should have a business plan. For the record, my business was made from the ground up without much documentation- lots of mental planning but no written planning.

    Any business plan that I have ever seen has been made for two reasons: 1. To show investors or banks in hopes of acquiring funds. 2. Created as a guideline for a new business to follow until they are "fully" developed.

    But my business has been around for a while and is still growing strong. What sort of things should I include on a business plan? I have no need for loans or investments; however, I would like to develop a 5 year growth plan.

    Any input on how I should structure this to be more like a business summary?
     
  2. Fergal

    Fergal
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    Welcome to our business forum JamesC, thanks for joining and participating. I'm a firm believe that every business, including those not seeking funding, should have a business plan. A business plan gives you a lot of clarity on the direction you want to take the business and how you are going to get there.

    When writing your plan, don't concern yourself about how it would read to other people. Instead focus on keeping it as realistic as possible. Taking the time to spend even a couple of hours to write a rough draft of a business plan can be very illuminating. Goals give you something to work towards, something to celebrate when you achieve them and something to analyse if you don't.

    I would say that a business plan benefits greatly from having business goals included. These goals will largely be included in the financial projections, but also in other areas such as employee numbers, market positioning, market share, etc.

    There are links to some great business plan templates in the Business Plan Templates section of our Useful Business Resources / Links thread.

    Does that help?
     
  3. William King

    William King
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    Business Plan is actually a document which records shows where your business is standing today and where it will be stand tomorrow it is actually written to generate maximum revenue by utilizing all the resources you have.... So it is stil good to estimate what you have and what you can have you can say it a designated road map of the success of the business
     
  4. habeebraja

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    Ya,Its absolute true statement that goal should be decide for any business.If there is no goal in the business then its of no use.Planning and goal is very important for every businee.If there is a goal then person will try to achieve this.
     
  5. sean

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    Setting goal to business is important in order your business will be guided.
     
  6. xanderlangley

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    Setting up a goal is very important.It gives a clear view about how well you are doing in executing your plans.
     
  7. neha.lemon

    neha.lemon
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    Your business plan should provide details of how you are going to develop your business, when you are going to do it, who's going to play a part and how you will manage the finances.
    Clarity on these issues is particularly important if you're looking for finance or investment. The process of building your plan will also focus your mind on how your new business will need to operate to give it the best chance of success.
     
  8. castiel

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    You might have a general plan to bring in a certain amount of money within a certain period. These are long range goals, but you need to be pretty specific in your business plan. In fact you should set yearly goals that can be measured against the past year so you know exactly how you’re doing.
     
  9. Klaus

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    Yes, business plans are normally writen in order to get bank loans and finance etc, in which case they include exaggerated forecasts etc. But you should also write a business plan for your own needs. This helps you plan out and implement your goals regularly, shows you what progress you're making, helps you get analytical and figure out where your weaknesses and strengths lie etc.

    What I've said so far has been cloaked in common terminology and to write a business plan you don't need the following, but it REALLY will make a big difference to its quality and your understanding and implementation (and therefore financial success):

    To really understand and make use of this sort of thing, you should involve yourself in all the business terminology and concepts, which will lead you to terms such as decomposition, current and target states, strategy, gap analysis and so on.

    I suggest you subscribe to the Harvard Business Review, which will get you in the right mind-set and is £99 a year. Read the Financial Times, which frames your way of thinking. There are websites like http://www.clickok.org which provide video lessons. If you can, take time to do a full or part-time MBA - schools like London Business School have global recognition. Just by looking at the Harvard Business School website and curriculum and trying to figure out what each teaches you makes a big difference.

    With all that, you can get to your original question, "develop a 5 year growth plan." Which involves decomposing your business to see where you're adding value and how that can be optimized, what your core competencies are so that they can be leveraged to create new products and services, how you're going to maintain competitive advantage, uniqueness and sustainability etc etc etc and a whole lot more.

    Best of luck.
     
  10. flintheart

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    A business plan is not for others or for getting loan. It is just for you. How you want to see your business growing with time. You said that you had done mental planning for your business. This is your business plan. You planned something for your business at different time. If you have this in your mind then their is no need to document it., But it would be great if you can make your plan for next five years so that you can analyze whether you are going in right direction or not. Where you are lagging. Its always good to set goals and try to achieve them as it boost up the confidence level and helps to increase our efforts. Hope you understand what m trying to tell.
     
  11. Alexishost

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    one page business plan
    JamesC I have found writing business plan in one page can be benefit me alot. http://www.onepagebusinessplan.com/sample_plans/industrial.html
    has been helpfull to me in writing one page business plan

     
  12. Matt

    Matt
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    Yes, a business plan is definatly very helpful as people have stated above. It helps keep everything organized and in my opinion, organization is key to success. In addition, I think goals are very useful to have. It keeps you on track to getting to have a successful business.

    Good luck with it :)
     
  13. smith360

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    You must develop a business plan and appropriate SMART goals with the right inventory management systems; , Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic & Timely business goals for your organization if you wish to remain competitive and in business for any length of time. Just as you would not take a cross-country trip without a road map to guide you along the way-why would you not take the time to plan and develop your own organization’s business goals road map as well?
     

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