Why you need a business plan

You may consider a business plan as a thing only made for VC firms. However, many startups, even the team members of one project in some big company, can’t tell their business stories straight, or their products straight. In addition to the problem of vagueness, another thing is that each individual member of the team holds a different concept about the business model in his head. Actually, a company or a project needs something to hold it together, the “something” can be a company’s particular culture like that in Apple, but can realistically be a business plan, too. 

That’s where the purpose of a business plan comes from. A business plan gets everyone in the team involved with a clear document, lets all know the gain or loss of each decision made to the company/project.

How to make one

A business plan doesn’t need to be too complicated, especially when it just comes to clarify the team’s goals. Before putting your hand to the planning, you should first ask yourself these questions:

* What your product is, and what it does
* Your customer personas and target market
* Goals and milestones to build the product
* Channels ( your strategy for bringing that product to the market)
* Your revenue model
* Your financial needs

Hmmm, that still seem to be too many questions. Is there a simple way to get started? Yes, use XMind’s business template!
No joking, XMind helps you build a relatively simple but clear milestones for your business plan. You can simply start from here (find the template in templates as usual).

Let’s say that X team are considering to plan a project on their brand new product. First, they would build a concept on the product (what the product is and what does it do) after a brainstorming sessioin. Then before they have a clear vision of their personas, they had a user research and a deep discussion on this. With the clear vision of the customer personas and the targeted market, they could mark the milestone points to the timeline now. If you like, you can press ctrl+B to add some boundary effects to the topics.

Following the guidelines of XMind business template, business planning becomes a piece of cake. Nevertheless, don’t forget that creating a plan is a team exercise, so discuss the planning and decisions with your colleagues, then you could come up with better ideas. Use the share function of XMind to collaborate with your team members.

Follow your plan

Once your document has reached its first draft stage, make sure it includes all the necessary points and information, and make it a focus on a monthly basis where you hold a discussion to ask yourselves these questions:

* Are we following this plan?
* If not, what has been changed and why(is there a good reason for this, otherwise how we could improve our problem)?
* What goals have been reached?
* Considering the current situation, should there be any changes in our strategy?
* Does the plan still meet up to our company’s demands?

If you successfully did this, your team project would surely be more effecient. If not, you may discuss within your team to find out what went wrong and look for solutions.

Hope your plan goes well!

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