Business Plan Template

There are several situations when a business plan is needed. New employees, banks, lenders, creditors, and in general, people who hold a certain interests in a company have a look at the business plan before even dealing with the company. On the whole, a business plan plays a highly instrumental role in giving an appropriate insight to the company’s structure and operations. An annual report however, must not be mistaken for a business plan. The annual report principally consists of statutory disclosures of the company, and is concentrated around the performance of the company. A business plan is not necessarily prepared to scope that entire organization. In some cases, it is also prepared to depict the graph of a single product or initiative.

Format
In order to make the business plan more comprehensible, every element has been described in short here.

Executive Summary
The executive summary is an index cum introduction to the entire business plan. The summary must basically contain two different elements―the name of the company/business organization, and its premises and incorporation details. Apart from these, major key players of the business must also be mentioned. Some companies also quickly summarize their operations, objectives, and specialties. An accompanying company motto also adds to the charm. This is basically an index of the document, and enables the reader to skip whatever he already knows.

Business Description
The business description is an in-depth explanation to the company’s operations and different objectives that are to be achieved in the course of the business. If the company is a major market player in some specific product, then the business history and timeline of development is also included. So basically, what is written on this page includes what the company does, in what time it does it, and in what manner it does it.

Market
The third aspect is the market within which the company operates. The company’s major customers, their demands, requirements, and competitors are discussed. Apart from that, the major behavior of the market from the point of view of global supply and annual demand are elaborated upon. Often, the marketing policy that is going to be followed is also mentioned.

Products and Services
The products and services of the company, their quality, and their reputation are to be mentioned. The pricing policy of such products is also to be mentioned. The logic behind such a pricing can also be included in the financial aspects of the plan.

Organization and Management
The next aspect is the management of the company, key people, code of conduct, departments, and wings. This aspect is to be covered very carefully if the plan is being used to brief job applicants.

Business Succession Planning

At some point in your illustrious business career, you will surely feel the need for an able leader who can lead your company forward to growth and glory. It may be because you are seeking a retirement or may be you just want your offspring to shoulder the responsibilities of the family business. The decision to find a deserving successor can also result if the company is performing poorly and its worth is declining in the market. Whatever the case may be, planning to induct a new successor for the firm is a big decision, and should be implemented with care.

Family owned businesses carry with them a legacy of dedication and hard work. Hence, the succession should be carried out carefully so it doesn’t harm the firm in any way. Here are some guidelines to smoothen the process

Be Realistic
While considering the transfer of your business to your close ones, it is important that you decide the ownership transition a few years before officially leaving the office. You can segregate the different branches of your company and distribute the responsibilities to a few in the family. This will give them some practical experience, and prepare them for their responsibilities and designations that they are to hold in the near future. Chalk out a financial planning procedure with the help of your tax consultants and chartered accountants, that will help you during the transition period. Also, ensure that the tax planning is done in accordance with the firm’s goals and objectives in mind.

Carefully Hand Over the Duties
You may want your first son to be the successor of your business empire, or may be you have plans to divide the duties and responsibilities among your various family members. Try to have a free and fair talk with every successor, convey your goals and objectives about the business, and make sure they have the necessary and required skills to manage their responsibilities. Also, it necessary that the members who are chosen to run the enterprise own the larger share of the company in stocks and other financial assets.

Let Go Gradually
This is the most crucial factor that can affect your stock prices. Do not abruptly announce that you are retiring from the business. You hold a sensitive position in the management, and your every move is closely watched by your competitors and other market players. For small businesses, it may be easier to handle succession issues, but if your company is listed on the stock market, then be cautious about how you convey the message to your stakeholders, shareholders, media, and most importantly, to your customers. If your products enjoy a goodwill among the customers, then ensure that the brand image of the company is not affected. Introduce your successor as a confident player, who can handle the business effectively.

Planning for a succession, be it of a family-owned business or of an acquired business, requires planning and patience. Nowadays, many professional lawyers and financial consultants are available to guide you through the entire process, so seek help if necessary.