Written on the 8 February 2014 by National Australia Bank
Consider including a one-page analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats in your business plan, for example:
•Strengths might include brand name, quality of product, or management.
•Weaknesses might be lack of finance or dependency on a few customers.
•Opportunities might be increasing demand or a competitor going bust.
•Threats might be a downturn in the economy or a new competitor.
Be honest about your weaknesses and the threats you face. Spell out mitigating circumstances and the actions you’re taking.
Make sure your business plan covers the critical issues that will make readers understand how you intend to drive your small business forward.
Highlight the key ingredients of your future success and how you will strengthen your position in the market. Then establish your overall business aims – where you realistically intend to be in three years’ time.
Next, decide on half a dozen objectives, each of which will make a significant difference to the future of your business. Define clear targets and timelines for these so that you know exactly what you want to achieve, by when.
Many businesses think in terms of:
•Income – more sales, better margins.
•Customers – new customers, higher levels of customer satisfaction.
•Products – improving existing products, launching new ones.
•Human resources – recruiting new employees, developing new skills.
The next stage is to work out how you will reach these targets, by considering each aspect of your business in turn and creating a step-by-step action plan for it.