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The 5 Step Plan for Creating a Successful Business Plan

Dec 29, 2007
While there are some who are easily able to do this, many business owners find themselves scratching their heads when it comes time to develop a plan. It can be confusing when it comes to deciding what is important, what is not and how to formulate this into something that is useful. The best method for developing a great business plan is to simply take 5 steps and walk through them. If you do this, you will create a successful business plan. The 5 steps of creating a successful business plan are listed below.

Step 1: Evaluation

You've got to start somewhere, and the best place to start is to simply look at your business from the inside out. Closely examine your business, as this will help you to see what kind of things to tackle with your business plan. You should look very closely at the fiscal statements for your business, as these, obviously, determine the success of a business. You should also observe the overall attitude of your business and its employees. For instance, notice if your employees are enthusiastic, bored, angry etc. Their feelings will need to be taken into consideration when creating the plan.

Step 2: Get Help

Creating a whole business plan all on your own probably wouldn't be the wisest decision, as you may completely miss out on some very important areas. Thus, it is advisable to get help when creating your business plan. You may consider hiring an outside consultant to observe things much like you did in step 1. After they've done this, the two of you can go over what you've found and start developing solutions to any problems that exist.

Step 3: Solutions

Next, you need to look at the problems you have found with your current business strategy and think of ways to solve them. Again, you may want to consult with an outside consultant in order to see the most efficient solutions for your problems. This step is probably the most crucial of all the steps in developing a business plan, as a good business plan solves existing problems. Make sure you take your time and really see what to do to fix any problems your business may have.

Step 4: Putting It All Together

You know the problems and have the solutions. Now what? Well, it's time to begin actually writing your plan. You're going to want to start by spelling out the problems faced by your business and then writing the solution to each. Then you may want to delve further into your business by sharing the goals you have for the business over the next year (*hint* Yearly business plans are essential. Don't just write a new business plan every few years, do it every year!). If you haven't already, create this list of goals and incorporate it into the plan.

Step 5: Finalizing It

After you've written your "rough draft" of the business plan, it's time to take it to those in your business. For this, you may want to set up a meeting with all your employees or as many of them as you can include where you go over the plan and ask for suggestions. You can think of this as a "peer review" session, much like you might have in a college English class. Having this meeting allows you to gage the compatibility of your plan with your employees. If there are no major differences between your employees and the plan, you can finalize it now and put it into action. If there are major differences, you simply need to do some revision. Then hold another meeting and hopefully finalize it then.
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