Keeping your business plan simple

When running a business, it is easy to give into the desire to broaden your scope. It’s natural to assume that by expanding your product offerings, extending your viral marketing campaign initiatives or rebranding your image,you will broaden your customer base and increase your potential for profits, but this may not be the case. In fact, efforts to expand too quickly or in too many directions may actually be spreading yourself too thin.

Instead, many executives have found that it is more beneficial to keep their business approaches focused. Instead of trying to do a great number of things adequately, it is usually wiser to do a few things superbly. Here are a few tips to help keep your business plan simple.

Keep it short
Of course, the surest way to simplicity is through brevity. What are your company’s goals? How do you view your company’s personality? Answer these questions as succinctly as possible and turn them into your business plan. You will certainly need to add elements as you go on, but it is important to remember that anything you add to your buusiness planshould be to clarify – not complicate – your essential aims.

With your new,shorter business plan, it will be easier to see which areas of your company need improvement and which are working just as you intended. If it seems like your business plan is becoming too unwieldy, send it to your most trusted employees and ask them which items can be removed.

Second guess yourself
Although we are often told to trust our guts, it is often useful for executives to question their instincts – especially if they are leading you in the direction of over complication. Anytime you decide to take on a new task, add a new layer to your business or aim for a different target audience, question the implications. Will it make your core business stronger? Will it divert resources from the most important elements of your strategy? If the answers to these questions are not clear, it may be a wise idea to refrain from implementing the new approaches until you are sure they are necessary.

Define roles clearly
If your employees don’t know exactly what they are supposed to do – not just in a day-to-day sense, but for the long run – it is impossible for them to contribute fully to your company’s success. Take the time to clearly outline all the duties for your employees and you will likely find that it is much easier to keep your operation streamlined and effective.

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Martin Jones

Martin Jones is a Senior Marketing Manager with the corporate Cox Communications social media team where he assists in leading strategy, campaign ideation and marketing execution for Cox Business social media & content marketing. Today, over 1 million fans engage with Cox Communications content, campaigns and Customer Care on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube. LinkedIn and Google+.