Monday, August 30, 2010

Five year business plan template for Success-Long term planning guide

This is a complete and easy to use five year business plan template. While other templates are complicated, the check list below are made as simple as possible.

While there are different types of business that needs different types of actions to succeed, I have generalized the check items to make it more convenient and applicable in all types of business planning scenarios.

The main concept of this planning stems from the widely accepted principle in quality and business process improvement called as the PDCA (Plan – Do- Check – Act) cycle or Deming circle.

Generally, the main objective of the planning is to plan the requirements of the business – that includes the capital, tools, machines, people, etc to successfully launching your product or business to your customers.

Therefore your five year business plan should consists as follows (you can easily incorporate the check items below in an Excel based template for easier tracking):

First Year: Planning Stage

Check lists:
1.) Design your process or product.
2.) Create a your prototype process or product.
3.) Do a feasibility study of your business focusing on your product.
4.) Identify your target customers.
5.) Identify how you are going to deliver your product to your customer (it is via online store, physical store, face to face selling? ,etc).
6.) Identify the pricing of the product.
7.) Identify the steps to reproduce the product, list down the machines, human resources needed, process/methods needs to be setup, materials needed, location of your factory.
8.) Identify the cost of doing business – identify the fixed costs and variable costs.
9.) Identify ways how you are going to raise capital. It is using banks, donations, etc.
10.) Analyze your pricing strategy vs your cost of doing business – will it be profitable in the long run?
11.) Finally secure the capital you need to start doing business.
12.) Establish your first manufacturing line (single line is recommended as your business is still in the pilot stage).

Second Year: “Do” Stage
Check lists:


1.) Create your first product that you can sell to the public.
2.) Do you some kind of “early” marketing strategy of reaching your customers? This includes offering your product for free or sample so that your customers can actually taste it.
3.) Do a year round marketing strategy – this strategy basically emphasizes of reaching your customers and earning reputation in your selected business niche.
4.) Execute some advertisements, get some early customer testimonials.
5.) Get product feedbacks, establish your customer support team.
6.) Take note of positive feedbacks and have them included in your customer testimonial lists.
7.) But take more seriously the negative feedbacks of your product, as this will let you further improve the quality of your product. Have them recorded by your quality assurance team.

Third Year: “Check” Stage

1.) Does your expected profits turn out to be comparable as your original plan?
2.) Does your expected product quality turns to have more positive results than negative feedbacks?
3.) Does your operating cost (fixed cost and variable costs) turns out to be comparable to the original plan?
4.) Are you coping up with the competition or still needs to do more to grab a bigger market share?
5.) What are the “quality” related issues of your product as reported by your customer?
6.) What are the recommended actions to further improve the quality of your product?
7.) What are the ways you can cut cost to your business to further increase profits?
8.) Are you paying up the debts on time or out of schedule?

Fourth Year: “Act” Stage

1.) Implement the recommended actions to further improve product quality.
2.) Implement the cost cutting actions.
3.) Implement actions to increase market share.
4.) Implement actions to further improve customer service.

Fifth Year: “Review” Stage

1.) What are the measurable effects of your business process and product quality improvement?
2.) What are the measurable effects of your cost cutting actions to your overall profit?
3.) What are the measurable effects of your customer service improvement?
4.) Are your start to grab a bigger portion of the market share?

Take note this is a cycle, review stage will then become a planning stage, so basically your business plan is a continuous improvement process. This is the key to long term business success.

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