4 Business Plan Musts

How having your business plan on-point can put you ahead of the competition

Learn to delegate to get the job done (Image: Thinkstock)

3.) Figure out how the work will get done and delegate.

To get the company successfully off the ground, it’s necessary to know what your roles and responsibilities are.

Your title(s) should not be listed as: C.E.O/Dir. of Operations/Chief Technology Officer/VP of Sales & Marketing. Regardless how excited everyone is, how many bottles of 5-hour ENERGY you have, or how strapped the company is for capital: Do you seriously think one person can perform all of these jobs successfully? Or better yet, logistically? Doubt it. Hate to break it to you but the more times your or anyone else’s name appears in the company’s organizational chart, the less productive and effective the output will be. Sure, starting up often occurs with minimal resources and people, but don’t allow this, over-enthusiasm, or poor planning to cloud your judgment and spread things far too thin.

Whether you plan to go into this venture solo or with business partners, when it comes to exactly what needs to get done and by whom, its unfortunately common to play down the necessary manpower. Overstating the ability and responsibilities of those involved just breeds a disastrous (or improbable) launch.

Outlined within the plan must be the jobs/roles you need completed as well as how many bodies it will take to handle them. Note: these people may already be on-board or have to be hired (which should mean you’ve budgeted a salary or some type of payment for their services). Prepare well-crafted job descriptions noting how and what each person will be held accountable for.

Find out how you and each person slated to be a part of the team can best serve the company in the short and long term while also growing as professionals. You’re setting up the company’s organizational design, so don’t shortchange the business by taking on more than the team can reasonably handle.

4) Determine the business’ scalability.

Scalability refers to the ability of a successful company to grow while maintaining its successful processes and performance on a larger scale. The business must be structured for growth even as it scales back costs or resources.

If it isn’t growing, then your company may not have what it takes to get to the next level. This is nothing to fear or ignore; companies reinvent themselves often, especially in times of crisis and stagnate grow. Of course, you just have to be willing to see and tackle the inconceivable—that your business isn’t structured for optimal growth. It’s best to deal with it on paper during the business’ infancy stage then launch with no foreseeable plan or outlet for ensuring the business’ longevity.

In finding a niche, reaching your customer and filling a need, what is the plan to make this cyclical? Is this plan replicable? A company operates efficiently when it is achieving three things:

  • Retaining old customers
  • Attracting new customers
  • Increasing value in products and services for current customers

If any of these actions isn’t happening in whole or in part within your small business, then it is overdue for a makeover. And it’s not about an overnight implementation or return on investment, but rather planning a short- and long-term strategy that takes everything into account and gauges how the company intends to progress.

Want to know more about writing a business plan and running your own small business? Then attend Black Enterprise’s annual Entrepreneurs Conference, taking place May 22-25, 2011 in Atlanta Georgia. Visit blackenterprise.com/ec for more details. As an incentive BE is offering you a discount on early registration: Just enter code BEDG295 and receive $200 off.

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