Planning

The is4profit planning section contains guides and articles to help small business owners with every element of their strategic planning, from creating an effective business plan to managing risk and preparing for growth.

Primary Market Research vs. Secondary Market Research

Primary Market Research vs. Secondary Market Research

Market research is an essential part of any business plan, whether a fledgling business or a multinational organisation. Knowing that there is a sustainable market for your product and understanding what your audience expects from you is vital to a successful business launch. Market research can generally be split into two categories; primary and secondary market research, and during this article I will explain both and discuss their respective merits and appropriate uses. Secondary market research Secondary research makes use of existing data from whatever sources are available. There are government censuses, Mintel surveys, and many private market research agencies that allow access to their data; some of it for free. It can be hugely advantageous, especially as a place to begin. Seconda... »

What is SWOT Analysis and How Can it Benefit My Business?

What is SWOT Analysis and How Can it Benefit My Business?

SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis is a way of looking at your business that can provide you with a clear picture of exactly where you are in the market. The methodical and critical approach found in SWOT allows you to use the lessons learned to grow and drive your business forward. It is an extraordinarily flexible method widely used by organisations ranging from the smallest start-up to blue-chip multinationals in order to critically analyse their current situation and identify how to improve their prospects or position. Done right, you can go from a position of stagnation and confusion to one of surety, progress and innovation. This article will provide you with a run-down of how to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in your own business... »

Writing a Business Plan: A Guide for Your Small Business

Writing a Business Plan: A Guide for Your Small Business

Every business needs a point to aim for, and to know how it’s getting there. Unless everyone involved knows precisely where and how the business is progressing, it can be very easy to fall off course. Plotting the direction of your business is the purpose of a business plan – a written outline of the strategy and initiatives needed to guide your business to its desired location. This guide will help you understand what to consider when writing up a standard business plan. We cover what a business plan is used for, how you can use the three-pronged approach of vision, values and mission to effectively communicate what your business is about, and how you can break this down into achievable objectives for the short- and long-term. What is the purpose of a business plan? The main purpose of a ... »

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