How to get started creating an effective business plan for your future.

Having a quality business plan sets the tone for your business. Without one, it’s easy to feel lost. You need to have a foundation and be intentional with where you’re going. Business plans can include many different elements, but there are three basics that must be included in every effective business plan:

1. Create a mission and vision statement. This is pretty self-explanatory, but it should include who you are, why you exist, and what it is that you want to achieve. Ask yourself these questions: What’s your purpose? What is your value? And what kind of service do you truly want to provide? 

2. Know your strengths and your weaknesses. Knowing these will help you see what it is that you need to work on and improve. The easiest way to do this is to perform what I call the SWOT analysis, which stands for your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Within this framework, analyze what applies to you specifically. For example, what things could threaten your business? All of these will help you evaluate the factors that drive your decisions, help you make more money, and determine what sets you apart from all of your competition.

“A SWOT analysis will help you find your strengths and weaknesses.”

3. Set your goals. Too many people choose goals that are unattainable and not specific enough to achieve. You need to know what your short- and your long-term goals are, and they need to work together. The best way to create a good goal is to make it SMART, which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

Many business plans have more information than this, but these are three basic things that should be included every single time. Once you’re done, make sure you create a schedule for when you’re going to reevaluate and do so regularly. Things change. That’s life. Make sure that you’re ready to move with the times. If you have any questions about business plans, we’d be happy to help. Just call or email us, and we can set up a time to meet to discuss your specific plan.