Having a business plan is an important way of getting set for your business success.
If it’s not in the plan, it may not happen.
Planning gives you the advantage of starting and navigating well in your business journey.
Defining a business plan
A business plan is a living document that precisely defines your business, identifies your objectives, and describes your strategies to reach those objectives. It provides concise articulation of the journey you are to embark on, and ways to navigate the rough terrain and doubles your chances for success along the way.
The plan gives you a better understanding of your product, your process, your competition, and your market. It also enlightens you in identifying a viable, preferably underserved market, and determining market demand (what it wants most and it’s willing to pay for). With it, you’d properly align your mission, vision, and purpose to meet those needs better than whatever is out there.
Even though a business plan is a roadmap, it’s a dynamic tool that you can use to know and measure what works and what needs improvement. A lot can happen along the way that would demand that you replan in today’s ever evolving marketplace.
The market will put your plan to test
Your business plan is only as good as your ability to confront the market and sell your products or services to them successfully. The market realities have ways to put your business plan to cruel test, and only a few people tend to survive it.
Once you start working on your plans, the market conditions will surely come to prove if what you have is what the market wants or a mere hypothesis and unproven assumptions.
There is a saying that, ‘To sell John Brown what John Brown buys, you’ve got to see things through John Brown’s eyes.’ You can’t validate an idea or a perceived solution that would fix any market frictions or needs without the market’s approval. After all, the market needs and wants are not static – they keep changing.
The market boat keeps rocking
Sometimes, the market boat will steer your business in unimaginable places that will violate everything you have planned. This does not mean you throw away your plan, but you move quickly to adjust it to the prevailing realities. It only calls your attention to focus on what really matters to your target market.
Remember, we still operate in an imperfect market system with controllable and uncontrollable market forces. These forces result in a dynamic, and sometimes unpredictable market situations.
Your ability to respond to change in the marketplace will be your most important skill as a business man or woman. That is to say, responding to change is better than blindly following a plan.
As the technology and tools that reshapes the market systems evolve, the market demands automatically recalibrate. This means that your game plan must keep evolving, and if possible be ahead of those market changes.