“To build a profitable business, you must start at the beginning.”
A clear business plan is essential for any leader who wants to run a profitable, well-run, self-sustaining business. Although it is time-consuming and laborious, having a clear strategic roadmap will allow you to see your company from a higher perspective and quickly assess its strengths and weaknesses. This will empower your employees and allow them to achieve your company’s goals, mission, and vision without you having to be involved in the day to day.
Six key elements are essential for a business plan to be successful. These first three are what we refer to as the organizational “Culture”, while the third three make up the business “Systems.” These business elements are essential to avoid employee confusion, conflict and other problems at work. It is almost impossible to fix them. These steps will give you an advantage over your competitors because most businesses don’t have a defined culture or system. Here is a quick description of the Six Keys.
One-sentence description that describes the impact your business will have on the community. This should be a one-sentence statement that outlines your goals and dreams. David Barrick shows the Vision statements, which are a link between your passions and the purpose of your business. My vision statement rule is that people will work harder to achieve a vision than they will for a paycheck. Your vision statement should excite, motivate, and excite employees, clients, and the local community. It should be concise, clear, and easy to recall.
A vision is more than a goal. A vision is not a goal. It is an ideal, which you can almost never achieve. This motivates employees to reach and surpass your company’s objectives. Vision is what ignites people to achieve excellence. Goals are used to measure processes and systems. The company’s top leaders are responsible for driving its vision. Your vision won’t have the impact it needs to surpass your competitors if you don’t get the support and encouragement from the top management.
Example: “Estrada Strategies”: “Creating an opportunity for all businesses to succeed”
Your Core Values are the guidelines for your business. They are a set of clearly defined standards that describe your organization’s approach towards relationships. It is a written code that outlines how all stakeholders will treat each other, both internally and externally. This includes vendors, workers, clients, and the community.
People are not given any guidelines or rules to guide them in their business. Individuals will make their own rules if there are no established values. Experienced employees will default towards values that they have acquired in previous work environments. While some may have a positive effect, others might not. Managers who don’t have clear values can find it difficult to lead people.
The core values of your business are unassailable in a company environment. If they are not upheld, immediate disciplinary action or termination may be necessary. If management fails to adhere to written values, employees quickly realize that they are meaningless or even irrelevant. They become token values that everyone laughs at but no one takes seriously. If core values are held, they can be used to guide all aspects of the company.
Example: “We believe in open, honest and frequent communication.”
These are the essential elements of any business.
1) What you do, 2) how you do that, 3) Whom it is for, and 4) Where it takes place.
The mission statement of your company is not only the guide for your employees, but also serves as a communication tool that explains how your company will be operating in the community.
A mission statement does not have to be a lengthy dissertation like the ones that were used by corporations in the 1980’s and 1970’s. These lengthy proclamations were often seen as empty rhetoric, unrealistic and aimed at impressing bankers and others. They are now used to guide the company’s overall direction and its daily business operations. They provide essential guidance for your employees and empower them to make quick, effective decisions by setting clear boundaries. A company without a clear mission will find itself in a bind when it is faced with a new situation and must decide what to do.
Example: “Our Mission is To Lead Our Small to Medium-Sized Clients to Greater Success.” Our
One-on-one business training is used to change behavior.
Coaching and business monitoring. By being the business model, we advance our vision
For our clients.”
These four elements are clearly defined in a well-thought out plan to grow your business.
1) Target market
2) How to market to your target audience;
3) An advertising strategy;
4) Brand creation which establishes an emotional and unique visual identity.
Growth is defined as “You’re either growing and green or you’re rotting and ripe.” A company that fails to grow will most likely fail. Your organization’s lifeblood is a growth plan. It covers your company’s sales process and marketing strategies.
1) Sales-The entire process of defining the demographics of your future client (your target)
Market or “suspects”), and foundational activities that drive new relations and will
This will lead to future sales opportunities, customers, and referrals.
2) Marketing-Activities in your company that increase visibility, credibility, and demonstrate results
Ability to compete in the market. This process is critical because it has a low cost and high impact.
Communicates to your market who you are, what your company does, where it does them, and how they do it.
It does. Marketing is important for sales but should not be confused with selling. Marketing is important.
It is all about credibility, visibility, and demonstrated ability. These elements create trust and brand equity.
In the marketplace.
3) Advertising-Systems that bring potential clients to your door, get the phone ringing and generate leads. Advertising is about selling. Advertising is all about promoting growth and how your company attracts customers. It tracks how and where your company is growing.
your customers discovered your company. Advertising is ultimately about the return on investment.
4) Branding refers to the process of creating product or brand recognition on the market. It is a process that creates product or name recognition in the marketplace.
This is the emotional and visual impact that people have on your name, logo, and tag
lines. You can think of Nike’s “checkmark” or McDonald’s golden arches. Is the market aware of your idea?
What is your logo, name, and tag? That’s it.
Operation is the core of how a company fulfills customers’ needs and wants.
Expectations and processes-the blueprint that outlines how a company produces or delivers its products. This section focuses on five key components of your company’s process or method of doing business: systems, quality control and labor standards.
1) What are your systems/processes. These are the foundation of how your company operates, produces and communicates.
Provides its products and services, including materials and process manuals.
2) How your company will ensure that its products and services are of high quality
3) Productive labor standards which define the labor-cost relations for providing your products or services. A piece worker is someone who produces X number of products per day, week, or month. You should also consider labor costs in relation to overall revenue and net income. These labor standards are useful for both your employees and your managers in order to measure and track performance.
4) Material management, or the cost of goods sold. How your company manages its physical assets.
It stores its raw material before and during product production. It also works to keep material, shipping, and storage costs low. This goal is to reduce inventory while still having enough material.
5) Internet technology-How your company will use the Internet for advertising and selling
products. Your company’s website is the most important tool you have to sell and promote your products and services. Some companies are content with just a few brochures online. Today, most companies are moving to e-commerce so prospects can buy items online.
Financial management is the way you plan and manage cash flow, capital and debt servicing, KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), such as pipeline and sales values and total revenue, gross margins and operating expenses, net profit, and total revenue. KPI’s are the numbers that determine the company’s financial health. This is the process of creating a budget that covers three year’s worth of monthly projections for your company in these three areas.
1) Income statements
2) Cash flow statements
3) Balance sheets
Experienced leaders track their KPI’s weekly and monthly, as well as quarterly and annually. He is able to see exactly where the company is financially at any given moment. KPI’s are the financial information that a leader needs in order to make strategic decisions such as buying a building or increasing inventories. Without KPI’s, running a business is like driving a semi truck on a mountain road wearing blinders. The truck will likely be driven off the cliff.
Although a business plan that includes these six components is not a guarantee of success, it will almost certainly ensure your company’s success. Estrada Strategies is here to help your business succeed. We provide executive coaching, business training, and monitoring to ensure you have a dynamic business plan.