A good business plan should be part of any interview and is a requirement for many. If you want to get a business loan from a bank or an investor they will want to see a good business plan. A business plan for a job is similar in concept.
Here is what a business plan accomplishes:
- It shows you are a strategic thinker
- It shows you know how to set goals and achieve them
- It shows you have done your homework on the position and the company
- It shows your mental investment in the position
- It demonstrates your ability of what you can do for them in terms of revenue
We have seen multiple times over the years that a good business plan being the big difference maker. In fact the difference of who got the job or who didn’t. There are numerous ways of constructing business plans. A couple of the most popular being a 30-60-90 plan and a longer term plan with SWOT(strength, weakness, opportunity and threat analysis)
The key to a good business plan is it CAN’T LOOK BOILERPLATE OR GENERIC! It needs to demonstrate all of the above bullet points.
Depending on the interview there are several strategies for presenting a business plan. Here are a couple:
- The Employer makes it part of their interview process-You could be asked to present at the next step in the process. Remember to construct your plan with all the bullet points in mind. Have it printed out in color for the interview so you can give to the manager. You may be presenting to more than one so have more than one copy. Have an electronic copy you can also send to the interviewer after the interview. Get creative as you may want to present on a laptop or tablet. You may want to incorporate some video. If it sounds like a lot of work it is, however your investment will show your level of commitment.
- Another strategy we have seen used successfully is showing up with a business plan on the 1st interview. The key is you will not be given the chance to present the plan in it’s entirety, but can use it as a tool. Here is an example to be used with the hiring manager. ” I brought a business plan today to perform as a working document. There are some things I have learned about your company in my homework prior to today’s interview. There are other that I have questions on which will allow me to fill in the blanks.” Can you see where we are going with this? It provides open ended feedback from the manager. It allows you to sell your skills based on what the manager is looking for. Put yourself in the manager shoes. Wouldn’t you like to see that from a candidate? The worst case scenario is you will get to put it in the manager hand’s at the end of the interview. Who do you think he will remember?