A BUSINESS PLAN AND A REFLECTION ESSAY
A business plan, sometimes known as an operational plan, is a document which outlines an organization's key objectives and its management strategy for achieving them over a defined period; normally three to five years. This is presented in the context of the organization's history, status and current operating position. The process of putting together a plan is as important a management function as the final document itself. The process enables an organization to take a critical and objective look at itself. Areas of weakness and strength are identified and realistic targets are set for achieving objectives. A business plan is an operating tool which should help the management team run the organization ( 1997).
A business plan is primarily a document for internal use. However, it may be made available to others who have contact with the organization, e.g. potential partners, investors and funding bodies. A plan should be primarily directed at and owned by employees and managers. The purpose of a business plan is to enable an organization to move forward effectively. This usually requires an analysis of the organization's past and current situation as well as its future plans. Organizations should therefore include the following items in a business plan (, 1997). This paper will reflect upon the business plan. This paper will also discuss about how the course helped create the business. The paper will tackle the skills needed for future success and the action taken to develop the business plan.
How the course helped in preparing the business (First Question)
A business plan takes considerable resources and effort to develop, but in return it provides a number of benefits. It provides a logical framework to develop a well thought out plan of action and identifies objectives to be achieved during the period covered by the plan. It identifies and analyses existing and future strengths and weaknesses of the proposed business and shows that opportunities have been identified. It pulls together the various plans and tasks that need to be carried out and relates them together. It ensures that the plan is viable technically and financially and that necessary analysis, such as a marketing plan, has been carried out fully. It defines key aspects of the business environment in which the business operates, how these affect the business and how the business can adapt to potential changes in the environment (, & 2000). It considers realistically the constraints on the operation and development of the business and sets out ways that these will be overcome.
It provides a framework for viewing the future and helps set out well thought out contingency plans to meet potential constraints or changes in the environment. It allows an assessment of risk and uncertainty, and sensitivity to different variables and how these are to be dealt with. It allows monitoring of expected and actual performance by providing a benchmark or targets, and so aids early alteration in direction if targets are not being met or if performance is likely to lead to future problems, or if there are unexpected future occurrences. It serves as a basis for gaining the commitment of others including employees, other stakeholders or funders (, & 2000).
Hence the business plan improves the understanding of the business and the internal connections between its various components, such as marketing and production, and the external connections with the wider economic and social environment, as well as setting out a clear way forward for all those involved to follow. There are also some potential problems with using business plans. The quality of analysis may be poor or weaknesses not fully considered (, & 2000). The course helped in introducing what are entrepreneurs, what do they do, what makes them important and what are the benefits of being an entrepreneur. The course also helped in explaining how a business can benefit the entrepreneur, society and ones’ country. The course explained how a business is put up. It predicted what problems might be faced when a business is put up.
Most important skill knowledge, ability or resource to succeed
To succeed one must have a background of why the business should be put up. The background of why a business should be put up helps in boosting the drive and the energy to conduct a business undertaking. It increases the desire to have a business. Another thing that a person has to succeed is patience. One must have enough patience to reach success. The road to achieving success may not be easy. One might experience different falls and one may stumble. Patience helps in ensuring that one doesn’t give up even if there are different barriers to success. A person must also have perseverance. When he/she fails he/she must have the perseverance to stand up after every fall he/she encounters. Lastly a person must have the outmost desire to success; this paves the way for a person to try to do anything he/ she can just to reach the goals and gain success.
Action taken to develop the business plan
A business plan tests the viability of an idea and sets out what the business or organization expects to achieve together with the resources and actions required to do so. Once developed it acts as a map for the operation of the business showing what is expected to be done and when. Hence it also allows monitoring of actual progress against the plan. As the business develops so will the business plan. There is no single particular form that a business plan should take. Its form will depend on factors such as the specific people and products involved. Business plans have different roles in different circumstances. The process of creating a new business helps to establish the goals, strategies and tactics for start-up and operation of the new venture (, & 2000). To develop the business plan a research is done to see the situation of the business and what problems may be encountered as the plan is done. Another thing done in developing the business plan is finding out the possible sources of information. Lastly a thing done is determining the different benefits that can be acquired from the success of the plan.