10 Unexpected Things Every Business Plan Needs
Running a small business means managing many components that all have to function at the same time just for your business to operate normally. Unfortunately, in the rapid changing world we live in, maintaining the status quo is not enough as we must plan for the future which is predominately unknown. At best, we can make our assumptions of what areas of our business are exposed to the most uncertainties and then prepare our own contingency planning. In that spirit, we below present 10 unexpected things every business plan needs with our commentary in italics:
- A review of the competition
- Just because you feel that you have a strong handle on your current competition or even if there is no competition in your sector currently that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan for it. If you are successful others will notice and will inevitably appear. Sometimes these might be giant corporations hoping to crowd you out with the powers of economies of scale. Regardless, you should have pricing and marketing strategies in place should competition one day arrive.
- Imagine you are a company like Blockbuster and you have cornered the market on walk-in movie rentals. You may have felt pretty confident about your business in the past but when Netflix arrived and allowed people to have movies mailed straight to their homes you were in trouble. This was even worse when cable companies allowed for instant streaming of movies and TV programs that lack of planning for the future is why Blockbuster failed. Netflix faced trouble from the cable companies as well but was able to survive, for now, because it planned ahead and quickly adopted its own OnDemand streaming capabilities. Clearly you need to worry about some new invention or service one day putting you out of business and have a plan ready for how to react.
- A contingency plan
- Similar to the above two, you need a plan of what to do incase all of your plans basically go out the window. It is a common occurrence as businesses go under all the time but if you are prepared the process might not be so stressful and won’t impede on your capabilities of starting over and trying again. The IRS, legal, financial, and HR issues will all need to be addressed and knowing what to do beforehand will lower the probability of you making a rushed and erroneous decision should it ever come to that.
- Preparation for success
- Failure is not the only thing you have to be ready for. Indeed, success too is something you must be prepared to handle as rapid growth of orders for example will likely demand more employees and equipment. Further, higher revenues and sales likely mean more accounting and legal issues as well as more paperwork so knowing what you will do should those things need to be taken care of is a must.
- Commitment to follow
- Exit plan
- A way to implement the plan
- A social media strategy
- A way to keep employees engaged
Click on the link below to see their take on those requirements we mentioned as well as the rest of those we left for them.
Source - Fox Business