Looking for advice on business plans (and getting on Dragon’s Den!)

Technical PR, Engineering PR, Industrial PR, Manufacturing PRI shall begin this Blog entry by saying that I am really looking for your advice and thoughts on business plans and their value – so please leave a message and I will try and respond to everyone. Here goes…

As my first year in business begins to draw to a close, I find myself once more doing the very thing that I started the year with – drawing up a business plan.

I can’t stress enough the value of a sound business plan even though I realise that you are probably a convert just as I am. However, as the evenings have now drawn out and the office parties are starting, I thought it might be a good time to share our thoughts on the subject.

For me, the set up process was relatively straight forward. As a PR consultancy I sell intellectual property and time to businesses, which is much less complex than setting up a company to market an invention to consumers. I didn’t have to include in my plan the deadlines from the contract manufacturer, different rounds of VC funding or filming dates for Dragon’s Den! Although, that said, I do fancy making an appearance in the Den, it looks like fun.

Despite my relatively straightforward set up process, the plan has been invaluable. By contrasting it with my actual performance I’ve been able to see where I was falling short, where I was ahead of the game and which elements of my business needed work. Hopefully, next year’s plan will be just as useful.

For me, it was the financial element of the plan that proved invaluable. Despite the fact that I didn’t need any external investment to set the company up, I devoted days to the production of this part of the document and it has certainly reaped dividends. I’m a very visual person and being able to visualise company performance in a spreadsheet has been a big benefit. This means more to me than QuickBooks print outs for instance (although these too are useful) and really helps keep me on track.

So, I will end by asking for your advice on the matter – which part of your plan has been the biggest help? Was it the disaster recovery scheme that kicked in when you had your flood or break in? Was it the recruitment strategy that kept you on track? Or something else that stopped you going under? Equally, if you are about to start the first year of your business and want advice on your first plan, this would be a great place to get it.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Richard

PS – My Web statistics (and the e-mails I recieve) suggest that many more people read this Blog than leave a message, which of course is fine – you are more than welcome to ‘lurk’! But your input is welcome and valued, so if you have something to say, just go for it!

Richard Stone

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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