Contextualise Your Budget _ Of course your budget will be extremely important. But sometimes people sort of pluck figures out of thin air, not giving it the context it needs in the business plan to make real concrete sense of how that budget is going to work. So it is crucial that every time you mention financials in your business plan, to really give them the correct context. When I have worked with clients in developing business plans, there has been a budget or amount set aside for example to be spent on marketing, which has been decided a bit arbitrarily. I mean with no real research, no understanding of what that amount needs to be spent on, and what that budget will truly achieve. It seems to have been put there to fill the need to attribute a certain sum to marketing. Make sure you are researching each point of your budget, make sure that you are giving it context and it makes proper sense within your overall plan.
Some of the questions a growth business plan might ask you are: _ Are you comfortable that the market wants and is willing to buy your product or service? _ Is your product or service priced so it is competitive in your market? _ What's different about your product or service? Why would a customer purchase it over someone else's? _ Is your market big enough to support your business? What about 15 years into the future? _ If you wanted a better lifestyle, what would your business need to do to give you that lifestyle? _ How much sales would your business need to generate to give you that income? _ How much sales would your business need to generate to give you the income you want 15 years into the future? _ What will be the cost of your labor and material? _ What will your expenses run? _ How much will it cost to overcome the capacity constraints that will occur as your business grows to meet your income requirements? _ Will your profit give you the income you want in the future and at the same time maintain a healthy business for you as well?