Five Aspects of a Business Plan You Need to Get Right

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article | Five Aspects of a Business Plan You Need to Get RightBuilding a business cannot be done without planning. The second you start a business your future and your financials are at risk. While the pay-off can be great, and you can even start a legacy, none of that will come to fruition if you don’t have an accurate plan on how to get from place A to place B.

Take opportunities as they arise by all means, but never go into a new business without creating a solid business plan:

Business Model

Choosing your business model is very important, especially with all the options available today. You can go for a subscription model, an advertising model, a pay now model, and so many more, and that’s just the payment plan. Decide in advance how you plan your company will be run and what it needs so that you can strategize around a real product.

Competitor Research

Your competition will offer a lot of valuable insight into what does and does not work. You should try to extend this research into companies that have failed previously and learn from their mistakes. Not only will you be able to improve upon your business model, but you will also be able to devise services and marketing strategies that appeal to your customers.

Cashflow Forecasting

You need to work out overhead beforehand so that you can predict how much you need in sales. This way you can either improve your business model or diversify your incomes to meet your base needs and hopefully exceed them. Once your business gets off the ground for a year redo your cash flow forecast so that you can better predict where spending will be tight.

Your Financing Options

Knowing your financing options is critical, especially as a new business. Without any previous business credit history or substantial enough assets banks will not provide you with a loan. Instead, you will need to diversify between personal funding and third-party loans.

Then there is the type of loan in question. A secure loan is secured against your assets, but if you do not have substantial enough assets, there are unsecured loans you can look at. You can learn all about the pros and cons of an unsecured business loan on, and though it can be a good way to launch or expand your business you need to be aware of the risks ahead of time, as rather than leverage an asset you will often have to provide a personal guarantee.


If you are opening a physical store the last part of your business plan that you will need to address is the location. Rent costs will be high, but more than that you will need to ensure your location serves your needs and is where your demographic is located.

It is important to remember that, though business plan size recommendations might only be a few pages, the work that goes into those few pages needs to be substantial. Consider your final business plan like a summary for a much larger report that works out what you need for your business to succeed. The effort you put in early on will be a key factor in any success you see.

How to Grow Your Strategic Mindset

StrategyDriven Strategic Planning Article | How to Grow Your Strategic Mindset“It just completely caught us off guard.”

That’s a statement you never want to hear as a business leader. But today’s VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world makes it incredibly difficult to plan and predict the future. At the same time, we’re all under pressure to move faster and get more done. So while thinking – and strategic thinking, in particular – is a key leadership responsibility, it often gets pushed aside in the midst of the day-to-day challenges of running the business.

In fact, there’s almost a universal resistance to long-term thinking in many organizations because we’re so focused on today’s problems: Are we making our numbers? Did the products get shipped? Did we resolve the customer issue?

The problem is, when you’re not thinking strategically, not only is it hard to see what’s coming, it’s hard to know where you are. A leader I spoke to recently put it this way: “When I’m mired in the swamp, it’s hard to see anything, much less the future.”

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About the Author

Ann Herrmann-Nehdi, CEO of Herrmann InternationalAnn Herrmann-Nehdi is CEO of Herrmann International, the originators and trailblazers of Whole Brain® Thinking and the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument® (HBDI®). A thought leader in her field, Ann has worked with many hundreds of organizations around the world of all sizes and industries, helping them increase their thinking agility to improve profitability, leadership, productivity, innovation and overall business results. She is an AthenaOnline management expert and a faculty member of the Institute of Management Studies.