When you think of a business plan it may well be that you picture a rather boring document held in a sweaty hand as you approach the bank manager for funding. This may well happen, but the business plan itself should be so much more than this.
Hopefully by now you have a good idea of what your team is, where it is going and how you are going to get there. What remains is to communicate your strategies and plans to any interested parties. The simplest way to this is to put together a business plan.
There are numerous templates available for free on the internet, and it is recommended that you obtain one that suits what you want to say whilst also thematically aligning with your teams branding and color scheme. Remember to be consistent in everything that you do!
I would further recommended that you put together a “master” plan that contains all the information possible about your team. At the start just preparing such a document can be very helpful in crystallizing exactly what you want to achieve and how you are going to do it. Later, if necessary, sections can be removed should they not be appropriate for the intended recipient. For instance, in a document you are making public you may be happy to discuss general financial management strategies, but not quite so happy to have your budgetary and accounting information freely available to opponents!
Sections that you may place in this master file could include (but not be limited to) the following:
- Introduction/Executive Summary, briefly outline your team
- Team contact details
- Driver/Team member profiles
- Details of team’s competition vehicles(s)
- Current sponsors/partners
- Historical team results
- Planned events/results for the current season
- Strategy Statements
- SWOT Analysis
- Stakeholder Analysis
- Balanced Scorecard
- Financial data (Budgets, Profit/Loss)
The critical point to grasp is that your business plan should be a living document. Update it regularly so that it contains current information. Your plan should grow with your team, but remember to remove any data that is out of date. You should illustrate your guide with pictures of the team in action. This can be worth a thousand words…
When forwarding it to third parties judge how much data they need. Try to keep it comprehensive but as simple as possible. The reader needs enough information to understand your team, but will not want to become bogged down in minutiae.
Take some time to put together a slick and cogent document. Remember that this may well be the single thing that your team is judged on. You never know when a potential sponsor will ask for more details…
If it comes across as professional, then this is how you will be judged and treated. If not…