In this post, I will describe and explain the basic business planning process to assist you in moving your company forward.

What exactly is business planning?

Business planning is the process through which an organization's executives determine the optimal path for growth and codify their strategy for success.

The business planning process entails analyzing the organization's internal strengths and weaknesses, increasing efficiency, determining how the company will compete against other enterprises in the future, and establishing progress milestones that can be monitored.

Writing a new business plan is a comprehensive process with several stages that might overlap. Business planning for startups, small enterprises, and established firms is the same whether you create it from scratch, use a simple business plan template, or engage with an expert business plan consultant or writer.

Better Business Planning Procedures

The following are the six phases in the business plan process:

  • Conduct your research
  • Strategize
  • Create a Financial Forecast
  • Create Your Strategy
  • Proofread and revise
  • Deliver an Outstanding Business Plan Presentation

I've gone through each of these major phases in further detail below.

1. Conduct Research

Begin the process by conducting extensive research on the industry, target market, existing client base, rivals, and company costs. You could consider the following questions:

  • What are your company objectives?
  • How is your company doing right now?
  • What are the current trends in the industry?
  • What are your competitors up to?

Resources ranging from databases and papers to direct conversations with other entrepreneurs, potential consumers, or industry experts are required. The material acquired throughout this step should be well documented and arranged, including the source, as you will need to credit sources in your business plan.

You should also do a SWOT Analysis for your own company to determine its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and potential dangers, since this will help you build tactics to emphasize your competitive advantage.

2. Plan a strategy

You will now utilize the analysis to decide the best approach for your company. You might opt to create new tactics or improve on existing ones that have proven successful in the sector. Pulling industry best practices gives a foundation, but you should then expand on the many actions that focus on your competitive edge.

This stage of the planning process may include developing a vision for the company's future, which may be accomplished by conducting in-depth client interviews and learning about their motives for acquiring items and services of interest. Investigate further on an acceptable marketing strategy, operational processes to carry out your strategy, and human resources necessary for the first five years of the company's existence.

3. Create a Financial Forecast

All of the actions you select for your plan will incur some expense and, ideally, generate some money. Create a financial picture by determining if you can anticipate revenues to cover all expenditures while still leaving room for profit in the long run.

Begin by entering your financial assumptions and starting expenses into a financial model that can generate a first-year cash flow statement for you, providing you the best idea of how much cash you will need to support your early operations.

A complete set of financial statements include information on the company's activities and performance, such as its costs and earnings by accounting period (quarterly or year-to-date). Financial statements also show the company's present financial situation, including assets and liabilities.

This is one of the most valuable components of any business plan since it gives a simple explanation of what a firm does with its money or how it grows from initial investment to profitability.

4. Create Your Strategy

After you've decided on a strategy and the financials, it's time to write the narrative for each component of your business plan. With the preparation you've done, the drafting process should be quite painless.

If you are having difficulty creating persuasive language, now is the moment to seek the assistance of an expert business plan writer who can put the plan together from this point forward.

5. Revision and Proofreading

Examine the entire strategy for any concepts or terminology that may be unclear, repetitive, or unnecessary to the points you're making. To fine-tune the plan, you may want to collaborate with other members of your company's management team who are knowledgeable with the company's operations or marketing strategy.

Finally, thoroughly proofread for spelling, punctuation, and formatting, asking the assistance of others to function as extra pairs of eyes. Working on the plan for so long may cause burnout, and you may need to leave it away for a while to look at it again with new eyes.

6. Deliver an Outstanding Business Plan Presentation

The business plan presentation should highlight the important elements stated above while also include other data that might be useful to potential investors such as financial information, resumes of key workers, or samples of marketing materials. It might also be useful to include a report on previous sales or financial performance, as well as what the company has done to get back into positive territory.

Conclusion of the Business Planning Process

Every entrepreneur fantasizes about the day when their company will be enormously successful.

But what exactly does that mean? How can you tell whether your concept is worthwhile?

And how can you maintain motivation when things don't go as planned? The answers to these concerns may be found in a business plan, which is a written document that gives a framework as well as the resources required for success. This guide assists entrepreneurs in making better decisions and avoiding typical mistakes along the route. ​

Business plans are living documents that may be amended and presented to various audiences during the life of a firm. For example, a company may have one plan for its initial investment proposal, another for milestones and targets for the first few years of operation, and still another for precisely seeking funding.

Business plans are an important initial step for any firm attempting to attract investors or grant money because they allow a new organization to better communicate its potential and business goals to people who can contribute financial resources.

About the Author(s)

Adam Torkildson

Adam is a long-time resident of American Fork, UT. He serves in several local service organizations and advises several startups that he's invested in or founded.

Owner, Tork Media
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