Business planning is very important to develop a successful business and it can also serve as the framework of your business. However it is an ongoing process that requires continuous collection of facts and information and facilitates you to honestly and objectively scrutinise the key areas of your business activity and stay on track. In other words, a comprehensive written business plan is one of your most effective business tools.

THE ELEMENTS OF A BUSINESS PLAN

A well-written business plan to develop your business idea may consist at least of the following elements:
  • Your mission
  • A description of your business, product or service
  • A description of how you differentiate you product or service
  • An analysis of the market you are penetrating
  • A description of your operation management
  • How you intent to promote your product or service
  • A SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats)
  • Prepare a cashflow projections to understand your cashflow needs
  • An evaluation of future developments and prospects

Have in mind that business plans written for external use (eg. Bank institutions, Investors) may require additional elements such as an executive summary that needs to be composed after you have completed writing your business plan. 

IMPLEMENT THE BUSINESS PLAN

Your business plan will not have any value if it is not combined with a plan for implementation. This is the stage of the business plan where you will clarify the objectives, assign tasks with deadlines and monitor your progress in reaching your goals.

Objectives
A proper objective statement will assist you to gain a crystal clear picture of the outcome you anticipate and as a result your objectives should be short, precise and assessable.
 
Tasks and Deadlines
This area demonstrates the necessary actions that must be taken to achieve your objectives.  The tasks should be prioritised in relation to their timeframe and significance so you can execute them more efficiently.  When estimating the timeframe for each task you should be strict, realistic and make sure that the task can be completed effectively within the time allocated.
 
Progress
You need to monitor the progress of your tasks and identify the root of the problem when facing possible delays. In case your tasks are too many and it is difficult to control them it is recommended to use a software to keep track on them such as Microsoft Outlook.