Technology has changed every industry as we know it, and innovations and iterations continue to shift the way a business operates successfully. Have you felt this in your business? Despite all this, having a business plan still remains a crucial element, with many not putting the time into perfecting this instrument for the future. Business plans have changed exponentially over the years and we’re going to review what those changes are. If your business has experienced change but your business plan hasn’t, here are some inclusions that must make up your short and long-term strategy.
Depending on where you are with digital adoption, the idea of a digital strategy might mean different things to different businesses. Some might be content with creating a website and social media account for now, whereas others could be implementing a comprehensive SEO and PPC strategy with visions to increase their digital stretch. Wherever you are on the spectrum, there should be some digital inclusions when you are developing a business plan. If you are feeling a little bewildered in this space, you can seek expert advice and talk to some consultants to see where you should focus your attention.
Retention and acquisition targets
Another area in which old-school business plans have lacked is the blended capture of customers. No customer is the same, and new and old customers should be communicated with accordingly. Customers never have been a black and white stat, and they should be aggregated into different groups so that they can track their loyalty and service them the way they need to be serviced. Your business plans need to have a retention target and strategy, and an acquisition target and strategy. These should be realistic figures that are a stretch, but still manageable of you and your team.
Training and education
Does your business plan include education and training, or are you relying on your team to upskill themselves? Ongoing training and education is a new addition to the business plan realm and one that you might not want to skip out on. Remember that training and education do not necessarily mean classroom style, and it could even be buying a short or long course from Udemy on a number of diverse topics. Investing in education could save you from hiring an unnecessary staff member when the skills could be simply learned by taking the time to send your team members to a course. Consider all the skills you would like your workforce to have, and work backwards by listing these education modules in your business plan.
Sustainable and ethical thinking
If you haven’t considered your environmental footprint and the ethical practice that your business may or may not support, this is something that needs to be added to your business plan. The first thing to do would be to actually know what your stance is on this issue, and what your business is doing in this fight. From there, you can pitch your business plan to be where you want your business to be performing in that space, and keep accountable to those measurable outcomes.
Business plans have changed over the years, and if you engineer this correctly, you can make your 2020 business plan set you up for great success in the future. Give this process its due, and carve out a decent amount of time to spend on this task so that you do it correctly. Also, don’t expect for this business plan to be written once and never amended, as there is always new insights and innovations that can be added along the way.