Sharing Your Business Plan

Publicising Your Business Plan to Your Intended Audience

In all business planning efforts to this point, your intended audience should have been your target in developing content. Developing a business plan has little meaning if it is not used, and used properly by your intended audience. If you are a ultra-small business, a boot-strap start-up company, perhaps you are the audience and that is OK. But if you are seeking investors or operating capitol from a lending institution, or if you're targeting other external business plan users such as shareholders that is another matter.

Business Goals may be defined both for Nonprofit or For-Profit organizations:

  • For-Profit business plans typically focus on financial goals, such as profit or creation of wealth.
  • Nonprofit business plans tend to focus on the "organizational mission" which is the basis for their non-profit, tax-exempt status, respectively, although non-profits may also focus on optimizing revenue.

Now that you have developed your business plan, and put all of the pieces together;

How do you package your business plan for effective presentation to your target audience?

In this sense you really have yet another customer, your target business plan user, and you should analyse your target business plan user in the same fashion as you did earlier with your "ideal customer'. Anticipate how they customarily like to receive information, digital, PDF, hard copy, or in news letter style as an example. Will their primary use of your business plan be in a board meeting setting, on a loan officers desk or online?

Choice of packaging style is an important decision and should not be left for the copy-boy or bookkeeper. Your business plan in many ways serves as you company's resume' and will have great, positive impact or die on the shelf depending on how it reads and how it is presented. So, take some time to decide what style and form your business plan will take to be successful.

Most Important - Your Audience

Here at Charitable Success Consulting, we focus on helping small to medium non-profits to become successful and sustainable. For that reason, and as an example of how to package your business plan we offer the following recommendation.

Package your Non-Profit business plan for Open Display and as a featured part of your Non-Profit Website.

 Effectively Grow Your NPO - Share It Online

We are not suggesting here that you post your business plan on the web in its entirety, but that you write it from the stand point of your "ideal customer", your potential donors, volunteers and partners. Customize your business plan to be directed to those who can help your organization grow the best.

We recommend that you put a more, or less complete version of your NPO business plan somewhere on your website like "About Us" so that even those visitors who you do not necessarily target can read more about who you are and what you are trying to do.

Target your customer segments in special ways;

For Example:

  1. Display parts of your business plan seeking volunteers in a special format and section of your website geared to attract young and active adults and students (25 - 40 age group).
  2. Consider also featuring parts of your business plan on social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus, again targeting specific target segments as appropriate.
  3. Feature articles including parts of your business plan in blogs showing how parents can involve their kids in your "Do Good" causes.
  4. Target planned giving by posting sections from your business plan in a special areas directed to older, less active and retired readers. 
  5. Link you "Donate Now" buttons to appropriate sections of your business plan so that your readers can see in very specific terms why it is important to give to your cause.

This can be an effective use of your business plan, and much more effective than just sharing with your board of directors. Face it, donors are hard to find and when they do find your web page you want them to have all the information they need to get involved and ultimately become committed. Also as a non-profit, your financial reports are already public information, so why make it hard to find. Bottom line, Non-profit organizations are expected to be open and transparent in terms of what they do and how they do it. Go with this opinion and you will be thanked by more donations, volunteers and partnerships and your NPO will grow accordingly.

End Part - Five; Sharing Your Business Plan (Hope you enjoyed this Short Course on Business Planning. Please leave your comments to immortalize your experience)

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