Are You Ready for a Business Plan?
Can you answer these questions? If you answered all the questions and you put them all together, do they make sense as a whole?
- How does your strategic plan relate to your marketing and communications plan, your fundraising plan, your organizational development plan?
- How are your core functions integrated (not just coordinated)?
- How do you define your next level?
- Based on your strategic goals and next level vision, what should you STOP doing or do less of?
- What is the profile of your target market and how are you reaching new audiences?
- What’s your value proposition?
- What is your market share and what could it be? (How do you know?)
- What is your business model?
- Where are your skill gaps (in both board and staff) and how will you fill them?
If you can’t answer all these questions, consider a business plan. A business plan is a sophisticated and comprehensive approach, that includes, but goes beyond strategic planning. Whereas the strategic plan addresses foundational strategic issues and defines specific outcomes (goals), the business plan answers the critical next questions once strategic decisions are made: how to reach and engage a target market and new partners; and what the structures, staffing, systems, processes and business models are to operate effectively in a new environment.
Moreover, the business plan is a practical document that guides programmatic, outreach, communication, business development, financial and organizational development decisions, and actions. It is the organization’s roadmap to growth, change, and organizational development. It aligns your strategic goals, your marketing (outreach and communications) approach, your capacity and operating needs and practices, and your resource development strategy and budget. ALL in ONE PLAN. The plan can also serve as a tool to ensure relevance and attract investment. (More about the business plans vs strategic plans)
A strong and resilient organization has an identity that focuses on results, meaningful connections with its constituents, and a business model that effectively attains and deploys resources to support identity and constituents. Strength and resilience enable the organization to have impact. Impact assures success and sustainability.
A Sample Business Plan Outline
Get a copy of the Business Plan Workbook – Contact Conservation Impact | Nonprofit Impact