for your Internal Business Plan
can hear the groans already.
Not only are you being told to write a internal business plan
but here is someone suggesting that you need to plan for your
plan as well. Isn't that taking things too far?
is a conundrum in business planning.
Most people know that a business plan is very important for their
business's success but far fewer actually get on and write one.
of the reasons for this, I believe, is that people
aren't given enough help with the process of writing one.
the business plan books and websites will give you lots of information
(and sometimes far too much of it) on what needs to go in the
plan. However few can help with the business of writing your plan.
purpose of this article is to provide you with some help on how
to complete your business plan.
Step Project Plan
What is your
you need to decide why you want an internal business plan. Of
course all your advisers will tell you about the need for one
but most people don't do things because other people tell them
ask yourself: how are I going to gain from having a business plan?
Do you want to make your start-up a success? Do you want to make
your existing business more profitable? Do you just want your
work life to run more smoothly?
you understand the clear and tangible benefits that an internal
business plan will bring you, then you are going to be motivated
to write it.
What are your
Even though you are now motivated to do your business plan, there
are going to be other demands on your time that will also give
you need to rank your priorities and decide which of your potential
activities will give you the most benefits.
However, if you decide that an internal business plan is not an
immediate priority, it is important not to forget about it entirely.
a saying that goes "things
don't get done if people don't do them".
It's a simple truth but it's also one that is very easy to forget.
all had goals that we have never achieved because we haven't spent
the necessary time on them. Therefore, if
plan is really one of your priorities, you need to make the necessary
time commitment to it.
way to do this is to treat
the project like a series of meetings with your most important
out the time you need to work on your plan in your diary or personal
organizer or on Outlook.
if you need to cancel one of your sessions, then re-arrange it
as soon as possible just as you would with your most important
Decide on the progression of your project by asking these questions:
what is it that
you want to end up with?
Is it a simple one page plan that will lay out your key strategies
and activities for the next year or a more detailed document that
you can show to your managers and staff?
when do you
need to finish the project?
Do you need your plan finished, for example, so that you can get
on with the annual budgeting process. Even if you are doing it
for yourself, I would recommend setting a deadline. Otherwise
it's too easy to keep on postponing it ad infinitum
what are the
actions you need to take to complete your plan?
Do you need to research new information, to liaise with colleagues
or to have some quiet time to develop your vision?
are there any
potential obstacles that might stop the project?
It's always best to identify these at the beginning so that you
can take avoiding action in advance.
Outline your plan.
Once you are clear on what needs to done and by when, you need
to develop a timetable. It's important here to be very practical
about how long different activities are going to take and how
you can fit these in with other demands on your time.
on and do it.
Check on progress.
It's easy to start off with good intentions and then to find that
the timetable's slipped because other activities have required
is particularly the case if you're trying to write a business
plan on your own. I find that it can be useful to make a commitment
about what you want to achieve and when to a friend or colleague,
even if they are not directly involved in the project.
such a commitment to someone else makes it less easy to forget
or ignore than if you make it just to yourself.
helpful is to e-mail this other person weekly with what you have
achieved in the past week and what you want to achieve in the
conclusion, it's important to emphasize that, if you treat your
business plan as a project that needs to be planned properly,
then you are much more likely to complete it.