If you're looking to build a company in today's extremely competitive business landscape, the beginning stages may seem quite overwhelming. You may need funding, land, hardware, talent and many other things that you do not know how you will obtain. In order to get the help that you will need in order to obtain these things, is a business strategy or a business plan more important?
The answer is that your business plan should be a part of your business strategy.
Your overall business strategy is what will keep your business afloat during the inevitable volatility. Your business plan is the written incarnation of the strategy that you will follow step-by-step.
If your strategy for business includes obtaining outside help at some point, then writing a business plan will inevitably be a part of your strategy. You will present this plan with your written strategy to potential investors in order to figure out a way to convince them to help you.
There are actually many things that should be fought through as a strategy and written down into your plan. Here are a few of those things.
First, you must assess your company and its financial standing. How will you finance your company until you gain a customer base that is large enough so that it pays for itself? Who are the individuals on your Board of Directors who will provide the experience in the industry that you need in order to succeed?
Second, you must show that you understand the competition that you face. Part of your business plan will be naming the competition that you have in your industry and how you will navigate market share from them. You will need to show the niche that you will market to and your plan to bring them to your brand.
Third, you must understand and be able to write about the way that you will pay back any potential investors. You may have the best idea in your industry, but the only thing that your investors will be worried about is how you will pay them back in a timely manner. Your business strategy and your business plan must go over how you will monetize your idea and to whom you will sell it. The biggest part of any business loan procedure is how you implement your payback strategy into your business plan – the two things are forever intertwined.
Jonah Engler is a successful entrepreneur, investor, franchise owner and coffee lover who hails from New York City.