What should be included in the business plan? Without being too prescriptive, there are certain necessary elements which need to be included. Such elements are: · Preliminaries _ such as contents, contacts and definitions; · An executive summary; · A description of the business; · A review of the market, the competition and market positioning; · The vision, mission and objectives; · The corporate strategy; · The plan for developing the products and services; · Financial projections; · An outline of the risks and opportunities; · A conclusion. Understand gaps and weaknesses within the plan.
Who should prepare the plan? _ As a business consultant, this may sound like heresy, but I believe that any plan should be produced by the senior management of the organisation. That is not to say that the consultant does not have a role to play in its preparation. He does. Senior management should prepare the plan as they will then be able to present and discuss it, demonstrating to their audience that they fully understand their business and market. I believe that the consultant's role is to help facilitate the preparation of the plan, the consultant can help undertake the necessary research, and can cast a critical and impartial eye over the plan.