What Questions Should Your Business Plan Answer?

Michael Gallagher, .

cannonSun Tzu said, “The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.”

It’s not a stretch to say that business is a battleground; and if you’re not prepared, you’re going to take more fire than you should. Your plan is your strategy, it’s your blueprint, your Intel, your logistics, your general. It is an answer for your most pressing questions.

A viable business plan is connected both to the overall vision and objectives of the company and to its daily functioning. It is both macro and micro. Here are some of the essential questions that need to be addressed in your start-up plan:

  1. What are you going to do?
  2. Who are you going to do it for?
  3. Who is going to do it?
  4. How are you going to pay the bills before you start earning revenue?
  5. When the cheques do start coming in, how much actually stays in your pocket?
  6. Who is going to take care of other aspects of the business, such as financials, marketing, operations, human resources, etc.?

For those just beginning their entrepreneurial careers, it is virtually impossible to address all of these questions adequately without help. In a blog post for the New York Times, entrepreneurship professor Scott A. Shane writes that many entrepreneurs fall into the “don’t-look-under-the-hood” category. They “fail to write business plans because they don’t want to test their ideas too much, for fear they won’t withstand the scrutiny.” This is exactly why they are so important; you need to scrutinize your business, your ideas, and your answers to ensure you are setting yourself, and your business, up for success.

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Michael Gallagher

Mike Gallagher, President of Michael Gallagher Advisory, has spent the past 20 years helping small business owners and managers develop and implement strategic business plans, achieve sustainable, targeted growth and solve the problems that keep them up at night.