A business action plan is an organised day-by-day plan of action to help achieve your business’ mission and goals. The action plan may involve customers, employees, suppliers and other stakeholders.
Why do I need one? Detailed business plans are crucial to success. It gives you the opportunity to really review everything in your business and what needs to be changed – marketing, finances, profit margins, staff, and more. You can use it to monitor your business’ progress and control its fate. Here are some more specific reasons you need a business plan:
- It can help you prioritise
Sometimes it can be difficult to work out what aspects of your business need prioritising if you have different goals. Your action plan can enable you to map out strategies and small steps towards achieving long-term goals. It helps you work out the goals you want to achieve and when, and what you need to do to achieve them. This means you can focus your energy on exactly what you need to do.
- To increase your chances of investment
If you want finance for you business, having a well-researched plan with clear objectives and relevant figures makes you much more likely to convince investors that your business is a reliable proposition to fund. It shows investors that your business should be taken seriously. Investors will only put their money and efforts into something that will be successful and profitable, whether it’s a new business or one that has been operating for years.
- To help manage finances
All businesses must be able to manage their finances carefully. By making sales forecasts and seeing what target market your business is aimed at, you can see if your business is succeeding and the steps you need to take to keep it running. It will manage cash flow by showing exactly what your expected incomings and outgoings are within given periods of time.
- To help meet your goals by a timescale
It’s easy to set goals in our head or just on paper that we know we won’t agree to meet at a specific time. By creating an action plan you will have specific time frames to meet individual steps, making it so much more achievable to do so as you will be forced to commit to that course of action to succeed.
Researching and writing your business action plan gives you the chance to:
- learn more about your industry, target market and competitors
- discover exactly where you are in the market and where you want to be
- identify the challenges you may face and work out how to overcome or avoid them
- understand your business finances
- set specific goals and timeframes for achieving them
- work out how you will measure your business performance