If you aren’t thinking about your 2021 goals and plans yet, now’s the time to get started. When crafting the new year’s business plan, start with what you know, and tackle these important sections.

One of the most difficult parts of writing a business plan is simply getting started. In short, a business plan is a written description of the future of your business — a document that includes what your plans and goals are, and how you’ll go about accomplishing them.

No matter how big or small your business is, creating a business plan is a vital step for any entrepreneur to take. Think of it as a roadmap that you can use to chart the course of your business.

At the outset, it’s almost impossible to predict all of the changes and curveballs that the year will throw at you, as 2020 showed us. That’s why it’s important to periodically review and update your business plan. Here are a few tips for getting started.

1. Executive summary

It’s crucial to start with what you know. Starting with an executive summary will give you a head start on your business plan for 2021. 

This section is one of the most important parts of your plan. Therefore, your summary should be convincing and brief (no more than a page), while attracting the reader’s attention. Include a clear description of exactly what services your team offers and what, if any, areas you specialize in. 

The executive summary should hit the high points of the business plan, and that’s why you should write it last, after you have completed even the financial portion. It should point out section numbers or page numbers that indicate where to find more information. It should include, but is not limited to, the following items:

  • Type of business
  • Business structure
  • Management and key employee background
  • Type of service you offer and how (or if) it’s unique
  • Target market and its size
  • Marketing strategy (are you differentiating yourself from the competition?)
  • Financing and financial structure

2. Mission statement

Business planning can be a daunting task, especially when preparing for 2021. As I mentioned above, the easiest thing you can do to get over the hump is by starting with what you know.

The main function of this portion is to clearly articulate in a written sentence or two what you are selling, what you might specialize in, who your clients are and why they buy and sell through you. It may also summarize your goals or objectives briefly. 

Example: To build a profitable and respected real estate sales firm, as measured by the business’ bottom line and the number of referrals generated by past clients and word of mouth.

Post it on your wall and in as many places as you can possibly think of. Communicate it to as many people as you can. Remember — this is the reason why you leave the house every day.

3. S.W.O.T analysis

If you’re still struggling with your business plan for 2021, the best way to get over the hump and get inspired to map out your business for the upcoming year is a S.W.O.T analysis.

S.W.O.T. stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. When you consider these sections, it’s important to factor in things like location, size of resources, reputation, services, personnel, etc. 

Strengths and weaknesses refer to organizational attributes. These are internal in origin. Opportunities and threats are attributes of the businesses environment, so they are external in origin. Here’s an example of a general S.W.O.T analysis. 

Strengths:

    • Low salary and benefit overhead for unlicensed assistants
    • Quick to respond to market changes
    • Low hierarchy equals quick decisions
    • Technology skills

Weaknesses:

    • Existing workload too great
    • Project planning nonexistent
    • Missing expertise in some areas

Opportunities:

    • Increase market share
    • Fewer agents to compete with
    • Changing market

Threats: 

    • Costs of doing business are increasing
    • Poor perceptions of market

I hope these three sections have inspired you to craft your best business plan. Get started with what you know, and get over that inevitable hump.

Kathleen Black is the CEO of Kathleen Black Coaching and Consulting in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. Connect with her on Instagram at @kathleenblackcoaching or through her website ItTakesa.Team.

agent advice | teams
Show Comments Hide Comments

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Black Friday starts now! We've got great deals on Inman Connect New York in-person and virtual tickets. Register now×
Cyber Week Sale: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $75.SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription