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Business Plan Self-Assessment

March 5, 2010
By: Kevin Spafford, Farm Journal Columnist
 
 

This tool may be used to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a  

Download this tool as a PDF.

 

 

  

If a business plan does not yet exist, use this as a checklist for writing a new plan.

Name:   ________________________________________________
Operation: ________________________________________________
Date:  ________________________________________________                    
 

  
 

1.  A concise mission statement will inform the direction of the company and serve as the guide for long]term growth/development.

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

 

2.  Detail the company history. It is especially important to document the motivation (vision) of the founder, and the values foundational to company structure.                    

 

              a.     Review the current ownership and capital structure.

              b.     Briefly describe business operations and locations.     

              c.     Identify owners, board members, and/or advisory council
                  members.          

              d.    Note professional advisors.

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

3.  Detail the current management structure, including roles and responsibilities of board members and other advisors.             

 

a.      Review areas for improvement in the current management
 structure.

              b.    Briefly describe strengths of management or outside advisors.

              c.    Identify active family members ] roles, tenure, and future
                 aspirations.

              d.    Note potential leadership/management mentors on the staff.

              e.    Understand the personnel obstacles to leadership/management
                 development.

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

___________________________________________________________________



4.  Detail the primary products and services of the operation. Identify the proprietary product(s)/system(s) that will be difficult for competitors to replicate.

a.      Review any weaknesses/shortcomings in the company's products/services.               

b.      Detail potential areas for growth, expansion, and subsidiary development.

c.       Note any under]performing products and services.

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

 

5.  Detail the operation's current strategic alliances/suppliers/third party vendors.

             

              a.    Is there an opportunity for integration/co]branding/other
                 development?

              b.    Is there an opportunity for improved efficiency, systems
                 integration, and other cost]saving measures?

              c.    Diagnose financial stability of suppliers/vendors. Should you
                 create a back]up relationship?

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

___________________________________________________________________

6.  Review, understand, and integrate the economic conditions which affect business strategy – include consideration for prices, costs, resources, demand, competitive trends, and economic cycles.                     

             

              a.     What other complementary product/subsidiary opportunities
                   exist?

              b.     Do foreign markets/international demand present an
                   opportunity for business growth and development?

b.        Have we overlooked a complementary/subsidiary business
  opportunity within our current market?

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

 

7.  Detail the competitive environment, both direct and indirect. What competes for the same, similar, or substitute products?

             

              a.     What are the biggest threats to your competitive position?                

              b.     As a growth strategy, have you considered acquiring
                   competitors?

              c.      Have you considered how to become your own competition?
                   What would you do as a competitor to render your operation
                   obsolete?

___________________________________________________________________

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

 

8.  Detail your operation's strength, the depth of proprietary
 operation/products, and the breadth of market reach.

 

a.        Is the operation owner]centric? Do you manage the day]to]day
  operations, or do you allow others the responsibility and
  accountability for organizational success?

              b.     Can you identify specific areas of strength that may be grown
                   into proprietary systems and products?

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

9.  Review the company's weaknesses and identify areas that might benefit from the successor's skills. Where is the company vulnerable? What challenges consume so much time, money, skill, or attention that the operation's success is threatened?

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

___________________________________________________________________



10.  Detail specific long term goals and short term objectives.         

 

a.        Develop point(by)point action plans for each goal and objective.

b.        Assign management, staff, project manager, or foreman to
  direct specific efforts.

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

___________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

 

Download this tool as a PDF.

business plan.  It should be used annually to review an operation's business plan. 

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