Why should you use your valuable time creating a document that tries to look into the future while the world is changing around you? How can you decide now what you will be doing in one year's time, or three or even five? And if you can't predict these things, what value would a plan have anyway? The usual perhaps trite answer is, of you don't know where you are going, how will you know when you get there? But there is far more than that to business planning. Creating a business plan means not only identifying all the factors in your area of operation, it also means developing a deep understanding of each of those factors individually and the way they combine to create your unique business situation. This guide will help you to do just that.
Table of Contents
How to use this guide What you will learn from this guide What this guide covers What is a plan and what does it contain? Where are we now? SWOT analysis Where are we going? A balanced view of objectives What about our products? Market research Customers and competitors Customer risk factors and loyalty factors Competitors Competitor research Promoting the business and selling the products Internal promotional activities External promotional activities Distribution People Getting the right people Keeping the right people Finance Money from sales Total absorption costing Competitive costing Cost aportionment Budgeting Budgeting techniques Incremental budgeting Zero-based budgeting Keeping a budget journal Flexed budgeting Making it happen Managing the plan Chnaging the plan
Brian Brown has held senior management positions in engineering, manufacturing and finance. He is a freelance consultant working with both large and small organisations from private to public sectors, improving business performance through strategic change and training. He is a business graduate, Chartered Secretary and a member of the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development. He currently lives and works in South Africa.