Business Plans

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A well-crafted business plan is an inherent component of a successful natural resource or outdoor recreation organization. A business plan typically consists of four major sections:
1) The description of the organization.
2) The marketing plan.
3) The financial management plan.
4) The management plan.

A business plan is useful to any type of natural resource or outdoor recreation organization because it helps determine where the organization needs to go, forewarns of possible road blocks along the way, formulates responses to stakeholder groups, and keeps the organization on track to reach its goals.
To develop an effective business plan, a detailed description of the organization must first be developed. Questions such as, "What area of expertise does my organization have?," "What products or services does my organization offer?," or "What are my organization's needs?" should be explored and answered.
Creating a Business Plan
The next step in developing a business plan is to create a marketing plan. Marketing plays a vital role in successful natural resource or outdoor recreation organizations. The key element of a successful marketing plan is knowledge of the organization's customers and their likes, dislikes, and expectations. For natural resource and outdoor recreation organizations, the customers can range from the public to wetland scientists to a specific subset of outdoor recreation users, such as anglers or hikers. Development of a marketing plan involves identifying and researching an organization's target markets and developing messages to speak to the audience in a compelling manner. A successful marketing plan also includes public relations and media strategies to promote the organization or increase stakeholder awareness about what the organization offers. "Are your markets growing, steady, or declining?" and "How will you attract, hold, and increase your market?" are questions that need to be answered. A subcomponent of the marketing plan involves knowing and researching competitors in order to position your organization at the forefront of your industry.
Conducting a Financial Assessment
The third component of a business plan involves conducting a financial assessment of the organization, and setting both short-term and long-term goals. A successful natural resource or outdoor recreation organization must set up a realistic operating budget, as well as identify and implement policies that will lead to and ensure that financial obligations are met. The financial management plan explores potential accounting systems and inventory control systems and leads to financial projections that will ensure the long-term sustainability and success of a natural resource or outdoor recreation organization.
Creating a Management Plan
The final component of a business plan is the management plan. Managing an organization is more than just the desire to be the boss. It demands dedication, good decisions, and management of both employees and finances. The management plan, along with the marketing and financial management plan, sets the foundation for and facilitates the success of an organization. The management plan directly addresses the organization's strengths and weaknesses and explores areas where new personnel and resources may be needed.
Responsive Management provides full consultation services on all aspects of business plan development. Through various quantitative and qualitative research methods, Responsive Management can help natural resource and outdoor recreation organizations create a realistic and effective business plan.
Responsive Management Experience
Responsive Management has extensive experience in the use of quantitative and qualitative research on natural resource and outdoor recreation issues. Responsive Management has conducted almost 1,000 quantitative and qualitative projects over the past 18 years on natural resource and outdoor recreation issues. Clients include the federal natural resource and land management agencies, most state fish and wildlife agencies, state departments of natural resources, environmental protection agencies, state park agencies, tourism boards, as well as most of the major conservation and sportsmen's organizations. Many of the nation's top universities use Responsive Management for data collection because they recognize the quality of Responsive Management's data services. Because Responsive Management specializes in researching only natural resource and outdoor recreation issues, our senior research staff and research associates conduct research only on these topics and understand the nuances involved in conducting such research.
RM Conducts:
Telephone Surveys
Mail Surveys
Focus Groups
Personal Interviews
Park/Outdoor Recreation Intercepts
Web-Based Surveys
Needs Assessments
Programmatic Evaluations
Literature Reviews
Data Collection for Universities and Researchers
RM Develops:
Marketing Plans
Communications Plans
Business Plans
Policy Analysis
Public Relations Plans

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