How to create a S.M.A.R.T Business Plan

Business Planning

How to create a  S.M.A.R.T Business Plan

It's a general rule among entrepreneurs that before a business gets built from the ground up, writing a business plan should be one of the first activities undertaken. When setting the objectives for a business plan, most entrepreneurs follow the criteria as represented by S.M.A.R.T. However, this shouldn't be the sole foundation of the plan. Doing business today is very different because of the developments and opportunities that arose because of the increasing popularity of the Internet. That said, if you are catering to customers online, you have to come up with a business plan structure that specifically addresses the needs and wants of online users.

Specific
Measurable

Achievable
Realistic
Time scaled

Learning From Your Competition

Whatever product or service you are selling, there will always be competitors online. With that said, you have to study your competition, analyze the strategies they use in running their operations, then try to learn as much as you can from them. Whilst writing a business plan, be sure to include whatever data you gathered from your competition. Take the positive things you learned while discard the negative ones. Look for the things that your competitors are good at then try to improve on these things. For example, if a competitor's product has six features, why don't you plan on creating a product that will have seven or more features. It's all about offering products and services that are better than what's currently being sold in the market.

Getting Ahead of the Competition

Let's say for instance that you are operating a business within the Sydney area. Whether you are up against a few or several competitors, when writing a business plan one of the main goals to keep in mind is that you will want to beat them when it comes to quality of product or service. One way to do this is to advertise your business on the right places. This is where both offline and digital marketing comes into place. You should learn to promote your business to an online audience. You can make use of common methods like textual advertising, search marketing and social media marketing. For your offline campaigns, you can utilize business cards. For high-quality business cards and banners, you should only acquire them from trusted digital printing service in Sydney or your local digital printing service.

Running Your Advertising Campaign

An effective business plan structure should also include a section which efficiently lays out how you are going to advertise your business. This includes how and where you are going to buy business cards, banner advertisements, and how you are going to promote your business to an online audience. It's important that this advertising campaign is well-planned because you might waste a lot of time and money if you do it rather sloppily. And of course, having a plan provides you with a guide which will ensure that everything you do is on track towards achieving your goals.

In conclusion, before you start building a business, make sure that you have a smart business plan in hand. This could make the whole difference between a successful business venture and a failed one.

 


Kerry Blake

MS Office expert, trainer and lecturer that writes technology and automotive articles. Contributor on several sites, one of them is King Of Fuel. When not by the machine I ride my bike.


Comments (4)
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Roland Hanekroot

Roland Hanekroot, Founder at New Perspectives Business Coaching

Lovely article Kerry... Love the focus on learning from your competition... have a look what they do and then make it better. Business planning is a big soapbox of mine. Most business owners know they should have one but few of them do and the ones that do have one haven't looked at it in the last couple of years and the plan is gathering dust at the bottom of a pile of books. The problem is that people don't get clear about the purpose of the business plan that they create. There is a world of difference between a business plan that is written to impress a bank manager when applying for an overdraft and a plan that is aimed at engaging your people and the main tool that is used to guide the development of the business. The first one is what I call an external plan and the second one is what I refer to as an internal business plan. And the 6 criteria for an effective internal business plan are these: - It's got to be Live and kept alive...constantly - Make sure it's written for the right people - And easily accessible for those people - Including the Short, medium, long-term Goals of the business (SMART goals) - Referencing the Purpose and Mission of the business - And short (ideally no more than one page) As it happens I've written in more detail about effective business planning, on this site as well as on my blog... and I have a couple of recorded webinars available about Business plans that work (for free)... if anyone is interested drop me a line or let me know here and I'll share a link to one of them. Cheers Roland Hanekroot

Wendy Huang

Wendy Huang, Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes

Hi Kerry, great article and very well summarised :)! I think you're right business plans are less about the 20 page overview but more about addressing the right topics and being very specific :D Looking forwards to your next article!

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