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7 steps to a practical, powerful business plan

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“A business plan is a written document describing the nature of the business, the sales and marketing strategy, and the financial background, and containing a projected profit and loss statement.” (Entrepreneur – https://www.entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/business-plan)

Every business desires a detailed written business plan to deliver direction, attract investors, and drive growth. But where do you start? And what should your business plan contain?

What a good business plan includes

There’s a standard format for a business plan that ensures you cover every eventuality and join all the dots:

  • An executive summary, effectively a snapshot of the plan that you can understand quickly at a glance
  • A clear, short description of exactly what the business does, a great way to help you pin down your core functionality
  • A market analysis, examining the industry, market, and your main online and offline competitors.
  • A formalised organisational / management structure
  • Details about your products and / or services
  • Your marketing and sales strategies and tactics
  • Funding requirements – will you need funding in the next up to 5 years and if so, how much and why?
  • Financial projections including balance sheets and accounts

Build a brilliant business plan in just 7 steps

1. Research… then research more!

Unless you know exactly what you’re selling, to whom, when, and how, your business plan won’t be meaningful. Without all the facts present,  you can’t make informed, intelligent decisions, nor gain the interest of your investors and shareholders. Unless you have a rock-solid, intimate appreciation of your company, your product, your competitors, and the market you operate in, your plan will never really hit the right mark. Spend twice as much time researching, evaluating, and thinking than you’ve done before as you go about writing your plan and you’ll feel the benefit.

Read everything you can find about the landscape you operate in. Talk to your audience. If you’re entering a less familiar market, e.g. the Middle East, unacquainted with their mentality, society, culture and business approaches, you’ll need to research even more carefully. When you use a reliable business directory in UAE or a good Saudi Arabia business directory you’ll get valuable insights on doing business in those countries, and you’ll end up with the right level of knowledge.

2. Define your plan’s goals

A business plan has different purposes. It can act as a solid road map of directions that help plan the future. But if you want to attract investors you will need to specifically target them and their needs. What you say depends entirely on the purpose. Define your goals upfront and your entire plan will hang together much better and make a lot more sense.

3. Build an accurate company profile

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A company profile provides all sorts of essential insight including where you’ve come from – the history of your organisation – plus your products or services you offer, your target audience and market/s, the resources that’ll help achieve your goals, how you’re going to solve the issues that stand in your way, and last but not least why you’re better placed to deliver than competitors – in other words, what makes your business unique. If you have a business profile on the company website, that’s a clue – it’s exactly that kind of thing you’ll want to include to inform your business plan.

4. Document absolutely everything

Investors want to make money from your business. They need to know it all.  So make sure everything relevant is properly documented, including expenses and cash flows, projections, licensing agreements and location strategy, everything they could need to know.

5. Lead with a strategic marketing plan

You can’t create a good business plan without considering marketing. That’s why all good business plans include a fairly aggressive marketing plan rich in objectives:

  • Create and launch new products
  • Extend markets for existing products and develop new ones
  • Grab back lost market share for existing products
  • Increase sales of a specific product or price range
  • Increase sales to a specific market or audience
  • Cross-sell, bundle and up-sell more products to existing customers
  • Set up new contracts with new customers
  • Raise prices without affecting conversion rates
  • Refine and improve current products
  • Specify content marketing tactics
  • Improve manufacturing quality
  • Improve delivery speed and efficiency

Once you’ve formalised all these activities, you need to allocate an appropriate budget for each of them.

6. Make sure your plan isn’t too rigid – Build flexibility in

A variety of people will find themselves reading your business plan. It could be potential investors and lenders, venture capitalists, employees, and your Board of Directors. Each group has its special focus and interests. If you can identify their different points of view from the start you can make sure the plan pleases everyone, giving them all exactly what they need. Lenders, for example, will probably be more interested in balance sheets and accounts, while investors and venture capitalists will examine your overall concept, the project’s potential, and look carefully at your management team. When you want to make the biggest and best impression your plan has to be flexible, customizable as the audience demands.

7. Passion and dedication

Passion matters. Dedication and determination matter. It matters that you care because that means you’ll do everything in your power to succeed. This section can include the mistakes you’ve learned from the issues you’ve resolved, your values, and why your business, in particular, offers the best solutions. When you build a powerful emotional connection they’ll be more likely to keep supporting your plans.

Now, how’s your business looking? Isn’t it amazing that you’ve found out how to build a good business plan? Yet one more thing to take note of. The events of 2020 showed that businesses’ strong parts are not as strong, and put an emphasis on the weaknesses. If you draft your business plan in the way that would prove that you can survive and thrive during these uneasy times, while including step by step measure to take for various-case scenarios, you’ll definitely gain the trust of your investors. Acting according to such a business plan, you’ll see your business flourish during the better times to come.


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Haraka Haraka app to link customers with service providers

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A new App dubbed “Haraka Haraka” has today been unveiled in Kenya to help customers find the right service providers in their current location within a specified range of choice.

The platform was invented by three former Meru University of Science and technology students and with the app, they seek to make it easier for people to find services such as a plumber, retailers, shops and house agents that have been difficult to get physically.

The team, Mr Kelvin Muinde, Mr Pius Momanyi Nyachio and Mrs Naum Mutie said there are currently about 3,500 users who are potential clients and service providers on the platform who include carpenters, hairdressers, plumbers and mechanics, and more.

“We are taking away the burden of searching for experienced and reliable professional businesses in a hassle-free model to deliver critical services to individuals who are in need of their specific location,” said Pius Momanyi Nyachio who is the Marketing Manager.

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Mr Kelvin Muinde, who is the head of the project said the idea to start Haraka Haraka was initiated out of his observance of people having difficulty in finding a reliable service in an area that they are not well conversant with.

“The biggest challenge customers face is finding the right service providers at any area, mostly if you are not familiar, most people end up getting poor services that cost them time and resources,” he said.

To find any service or to register as a service provider, individuals are requested to first download the Haraka Haraka App on Google and register where later one can choose a range between 100m to 30km to find the service they are in need of.

The app also comes with an option of reviewing and rating a service provider which acts as an advantage to next service seekers enabling easy referrals to new clients.

‘’The registration to the app is free for both users and professionals,’’ said Mr Kelvin Muinde. The company’s aim is to hit 10,000 users by the end of this year. Ideally, they plan to have a maximum of 30,000 professionals on the platform.


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Haraka Haraka app to link customers with service providers

Published

on

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A new App dubbed “Haraka Haraka” has today been unveiled in Kenya to help customers find the right service providers in their current location within a specified range of choice.

The platform was invented by three former Meru University of Science and technology students and with the app, they seek to make it easier for people to find services such as a plumber, retailers, shops and house agents that have been difficult to get physically.

The team, Mr Kelvin Muinde, Mr Pius Momanyi Nyachio and Mrs Naum Mutie said there are currently about 3,500 users who are potential clients and service providers on the platform who include carpenters, hairdressers, plumbers and mechanics, and more.

“We are taking away the burden of searching for experienced and reliable professional businesses in a hassle-free model to deliver critical services to individuals who are in need of their specific location,” said Pius Momanyi Nyachio who is the Marketing Manager.

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Mr Kelvin Muinde, who is the head of the project said the idea to start Haraka Haraka was initiated out of his observance of people having difficulty in finding a reliable service in an area that they are not well conversant with.

“The biggest challenge customers face is finding the right service providers at any area, mostly if you are not familiar, most people end up getting poor services that cost them time and resources,” he said.

To find any service or to register as a service provider, individuals are requested to first download the Haraka Haraka App on Google and register where later one can choose a range between 100m to 30km to find the service they are in need of.

The app also comes with an option of reviewing and rating a service provider which acts as an advantage to next service seekers enabling easy referrals to new clients.

‘’The registration to the app is free for both users and professionals,’’ said Mr Kelvin Muinde. The company’s aim is to hit 10,000 users by the end of this year. Ideally, they plan to have a maximum of 30,000 professionals on the platform.


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Balala wants investigation into alleged harassment at Ol Jogi launched – KBC

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Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala

Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has directed the Kenya Wildlife Service to commence investigations into the alleged harassment of a victim by private game ranchers at Ol Jogi Conservancy in Laikipia County.

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It is reported that the victim known as Mordecai Ogada in the company of his children was harassed on Saturday while driving on a public road in the conservancy.

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In a statement, Balala has asked for speedy investigations and findings to be concluded by Wednesday this week.

The CS added that no discriminations will be allowed to any Kenyan at any conservancy in the country.

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“The government of Kenya and my ministry will not condone any undue harassment or intimidation of Kenyans who are going about their normal businesses and enjoying their God given heritage by anyone,” said CS Balala.

He urged Kenyans to report any such incidents with facts for action to be taken.

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