Becoming a business owner for the first time in 1977, Bruce Doyle has now owned and operated 27 businesses, 18 of which were developed from conception. He has been ranked Global Coach of the Year, Victorian Coach Of the Year and Action Coach’s most prestigious award, Entrepreneur Coach of the Year.
In this Q&A email interview with Alex Pirouz, Doyle shares why it’s important to do a business plan, what is required for a business plan to be successful and the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make when writing a business plan.
Q: Why is it important to do a business plan prior to a launch of any product or service?
“The most important thing about doing a business plan is becoming clear on what it will look like when it is finished. Most people don’t have an exit strategy. A lot of business owners don’t have clarity in where they are heading because they don’t know the end step. Included in the business plan should also be a succession plan, and over 70% of businesses don’t have this.
“The main purpose is to have the business plan active and turn it into an action plan by breaking it down into 90-day cycles. Then chunk it down to weeks and then days.”
Q: How long should a business plan be and what should the business plan be based on?
“This all depends on the style of business you are in; if you make it too complex they just don’t get followed. Ask any successful entrepreneur and they will tell you that any good business plan should be based around the numbers because at the end of the day the only measure of the success in business is the financials and numbers within it.”
Q: In saying that, what are the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make when writing their business plan?
“The biggest mistake is not taking the time to write their business plan in the detail necessary to build the foundation to grow from. It is absolutely catastrophic to go into business without a plan. Loss of money and failure will be evident unless the entrepreneur is very lucky.
“The second biggest mistake is not conducting market research before launching your idea. Market research is critical and the more you can do it without getting analysis by paralysis the greater your level of success will be in business.
“It is much easier to look for the void in the marketplace and provide a solution than it is to try and come up with a solution that is not relevant or existent.”
Q: What can entrepreneurs do to increase their chance of success once they have started their business?
“ They must:
- have the right team around them
- hire people who are more skilful than they are
- focus on their strengths and delegate other duties
- focus on the business and don’t look at any other opportunities
- get familiar with the financial aspect of the business.
“Research every aspect of the business to make sure there is a need for what you’re actually coming up with and, most importantly, don’t think every idea is going to be a good one without crunching the numbers. Doing this will ensure you are able to create a business that has the capacity to be scalable and saleable because the ideal outcome for any entrepreneur should be to sell and exit their business.”
Alex Pirouz is the founder of RIDC Advisory Pty Ltd, a Business and Sales Advisory firm partnering with the top 1% of Australia’s largest and fastest growing companies to further increase their sales revenue. (Visit www.ridc.com.au for more details)