There are two primary uses of a business plan. The first one is as a sales document that you will use to pitch to investors or venture capitalists. The second is as a roadmap for the direction and the long-term and short-term goals of your company.
Startup companies usually need a lot of funding, so they put considerable time and effort into crafting a sales document to their investors. However, there should also be equal focus given to a business plan as a guide for your business. When you have obtained the capital you needed, how do you make use of it to turn your idea into a reality? Follow these steps to know how you can use your business plan as a roadmap for your business.
Keep it dynamic
A business plan is not meant to be static. It should be easily changed to be able to adapt to the circumstances at present. However, it shouldn’t be as dynamic as the weather. A solid business plan should not always depend on present circumstances. What it should be is a good balance of a concrete goal that will remain unchanged, and strategies that can adjust to the present situation. In this way, you can easily adjust your plan to achieve your business goals.
Set long-term goals
Ideally, your business plan should contain your vision and mission as a business. With those two things in mind, you will be able to set long-term goals that will lead towards those. To be able to do this, you can set a meeting with the department heads to ask for input regarding the goals that each department should reach in order to uphold the mission of the company.
It’s important that during this stage, goal-setting is done with a group of people. This can help craft long-term goals that involve the efforts of all departments. At the same time, executing these long-term goals will be a lot easier because department heads understand the direction the company will be taking.
Anchor strategies towards your business goals
Long-term goals should be the basis for creating strategies and not the other way around. Some companies tend to start with what they think would be a good strategy but they forget that these strategies may not necessarily help in achieving business goals.
Your business plan should be the basis for the strategies that all departments will be undertaking. It’s also a good criterion for evaluating how effective your strategies are.
Use it to direct teams and employees
When you’ve discussed with department heads regarding your goals, then the business plan can serve as a guide for all other departments. Some companies discuss this in teams to make sure that everyone understands the goals of the company. For some, they introduce this to new hires as a way to understand how the company works.
A business plan is also a good way to determine if certain positions are necessary. Through this, you can evaluate the organizational chart that the company has.
Evaluate partners through your business plan
It’s not just your employees that help make your business possible. You also have your partners, third-party logistics, outsourced production, and consultants. Your business plan can guide you in choosing the right partners so that they can contribute to what your company is aiming for.
Choosing outsourcing companies is not as simple as getting the company that provides the lowest bid (although there are some companies that do this because of their cost-efficiency). To make sure that you create healthy and beneficial relationships with partners, your business plan can be a guide to make them understand what your company is and what kind of service you want to provide to your customers. In this way, you are all on the same page even if you are not the same company.
A business plan is a roadmap for a reason and it will be very helpful if you know how to use it to guide your company. A good way to always be on track is to frequently go back to your business plan and evaluate your business if it is still aligned with the long-term goals you have set in the beginning. If the present situation requires you to change tactic, then this is the time you have to re-evaluate the business plan itself.