Business planning

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Nearly every day I hear or say the two words ‘business planning’.

It’s a very emotional experience for business owners. It involves complying with governments, going through the processes with banks, adhering to suppliers’ rules and eventually customers’ demands, which all form an enormous obligation.

The questions that you have as you start out on the road to creating a business are endless.

At the start, the exciting part is the prospects and opportunities, however it is vitally important to be conservative (even underestimate) and take your time when developing the details of your business plan.

A business plan should have the following sections: an outline of the business in summary form, a mission outlining the purpose and a set of objectives with time lines.

Then comes the detail: which includes a comprehensive marketing plan with costs, operational plan with procedures and structure, and of course the budget.

Finally the business plan should have a risk analysis involving a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) all with contingency plans included.

Planning is vital, so many businesses fail in the first few years because of the emotions involved with being your own boss taking over the economic reality.

In fact, there is usually a common realisation that once you start your own business, your customers become your boss and there is no end to the chain of command you previously experienced.

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