Key Learning Outcomes
- Recognise that one of the greatest benefits of business planning is the process itself.
- Apply the Absolute Best business plan template to help you create a professional document.
- Use the step-by-step guide to ensure that you have covered all the elements.
- Understand the importance of sharing the business plan with your team.
Congratulations! You have finished all the hard work and have just a few finishing touches to make to your plan so you can bring all the elements together. We hope that you have found the process rewarding and that it marks the beginning of a phenomenal 12 months for you and your business.
This article gives you the step-by-step instructions for turning the plan into a professional looking document along with some tips for successful implementation.[wlm_ismember]
Download our business plan template. This will allow you to start to plug in your information and will give you an idea for presentation of the plan. The template is presented in the same format as our business planning process, so it is essential that you have completed all of the business planning learning articles.
Enter all of your information in the plan. We suggest that you leave your business overview/summary until you have completed all the other sections.
Write your business overview and summary. This should be no longer than one page and should not include any information that is not in your plan. The overview is designed to give the reader just that, an overview of your business and the plan. Here is the business overview for our case study, as an example.
The Best Beauty Salon is built on strong core values of honesty, integrity and a commitment to providing an exceptional level of customer service. The business operates from premises that have been designed to provide a luxurious and tranquil environment for clients. Treatment rooms are equipped with the most up-to-date technology in order to provide the highest levels of service and standards of safety. The business is committed to remain at the forefront of the industry in regard to the standards of treatments and products offered to clients.
Highly qualified and trained staff allow for the highest standards of treatment and service; however, periods of high vacancy rates for treatment room create downward pressure on the profitability of the business. A number of initiatives are outlined in the plan to increase occupancy rates and the average profitability of treatments, including the introduction of off-peak specials and multi-treatment packages.
The salon has built a strong presence in the core market; however, the limited size of the population in the area does not allow for new client growth levels to be sustained. Opportunities have been identified to increase business from existing clientele along with sourcing new clients from secondary markets. The Best Beauty Salon offers clients some clear advantages over competing salons and this plan identifies several opportunities for growth including increased penetration into the adjacent suburb and introduction of male-specific treatments.
The plan gives The Best Beauty Salon a clear direction for the next 12 months allowing for growth and improvement. Additionally, areas of potential risk have been identified to allow for strategic risk management. Clear targets have been set in order to evaluate progress over the business plan period.
Your plan should now be complete. All that is left to do is to tidy it up from a presentation point of view. Refer to this quick checklist:
- Ensure that you have information in each section.
- Go through and fine tune the formatting – use page breaks so that everything sits nicely throughout the document.
- Add your logo on the front and change the colour of the document to your corporate colours.
- Define the 12-month time frame of your plan on the front cover and make sure you date the document.
- Update the table of contents – click on the table of contents – a menu will allow you to automatically update the table.
- Click on the footer to add your business name and the plan date.
- Print it in colour.
- Bind the document – we recommend that you use a quick print or office supply service. For a small cost they can add a back cover, clear plastic front and bind it for you. This gives the document a finished, professional touch.
Present the plan to your team. It is essential that you do this when you have your entire team together. Whether you do it off site or on the business’s premises is up to you; however, it needs to be done at a time when there will be no interruptions. Make sure you have allocated enough time, at least 90 minutes, and that you have given the team ample notice to ensure everyone can be there.
When presenting the plan we suggest giving everyone a copy. Go through the plan page by page; you do not have to read every word but highlight all relevant information. We suggest you leave discussion to the end otherwise you may go off the track; although if anyone has questions specific to any of the sections it may be easier to answer them as you go.
When you have worked through the plan, allow time for feedback, questions and discussion. Ideally, set an action planning meeting for no later than seven days after this meeting to start implementing the business plan ideas. Depending on the involvement of the team in the business planning process, you may find that everyone needs a few days to digest and re-read the document and think about what could be done. When setting the meeting, make it clear that you want everyone’s input and ideas, even if they seem a little ‘left field’. Read our 30-day action plan article to help with the format of this meeting.
Once again, we applaud you for completing your business plan and for committing to improving your business. The key to seeing results from your business plan is action, as George Patton once said, “a good plan implemented today is better than a perfect plan implemented tomorrow”. Don’t delay and get your implantation process on the road today![/wlm_ismember]
[wlm_nonmember]Would you like to see the whole article?
Would you like to start driving positive changes in your business? Would you like to see increased productivity and profitability? Of course you would!
As part of our commitment to being a low cost yet highly effective service to help owners and managers of small to medium sized business, we are now offering the first month of your membership for just $1! This means you will get full access to all of the learning articles, tools and tips that our website has to offer and with a commitment to upload at least another 150 learning articles through 2015 there is also plenty more learning on the way. On top of this you will also receive our weekly newsletter to keep you updated on new learning for the week and much, much more!
You can cancel at any time, however, if you see the value in what we’re offering (and we’re sure you will!) your membership will automatically continue after your trial at the low cost of just $19.95 per month. So what are you waiting for? For just $1 you are getting full access to all of our content for 30 days risk-free, so come on and join our community today![/wlm_nonmember]
Success is giving it your Absolute Best!