As the owner of a small business you rarely have enough time: the urgent often overwhelms the important and running your business can seem like snakes and ladders in a maze. Business planning, although vital for your success, seems the preserve of larger businesses, an impossible luxury for a small business. You can, however, effectively apply the fundamentals of big-business planning to your small business by translating corporate-speak into your language.

Corporate Small Business
Business Plan What does your business need to accomplish to be successful?
Vision How do you see your business in the future?
Values What do you want to be known for?
Mission Why does your business exist?
Goals What are you trying to achieve?
Objectives What measurable targets will you achieve, by when?
Strategies How will you build and manage the business?
Action Plan What actions will you take?
Milestones What will your actions achieve, by when?
Forecasts What will your sales, costs, profitability and cash-flow look like?
Unique Selling Proposition How are you different, and so better, than your competitors?
Value Proposition What does your customer get, of value to them, from you?

Simple doesn’t mean simplistic. You may have to do some hard thinking and research to answers these questions. Once done you have the first stage of your business plan.

Have a look at my Accomplish Business Plan Summary Guide

What are the second, third and fourth stages of business planning? Implementing the plan, working out what you have actually done, re-planning …..