22 Jul Business Plans for Churches
A church with mainly volunteers as staff must have accountability with the day-to- day operations; as well as the long term goals. A business plan will assist the church in growth if it is well thought out and written. An effective business plan takes planning sessions, time, thought, and input from a variety of active church members. A well written business plan provides a path for the current members and prospective new members. A business plan will provide a mission statement, focus, budget, staff needs, services offered, events, group leaders. A mission is why the church exists.
Accountability is what keeps the church moving forward and leaving no doubt that the church is moving forward.
Without a business plan a church has no mission, focus, budget, staff needs, services offered, group of leaders. The proper steps to take are to develop a mission and vision statement – what is the path the church wishes to make. Are the services educational, events and outreach needed in your community? What are neighboring churches offering? Is the church providing for every age bracket and is the church holding
Like a marketing plan, the church needs to identify the worship services, bible studies, children activities. Develop an informative yet user friendly web site. Ways to obtain free or reasonably priced publicity. An active social media page with frequent updates and information. Identify daily operations for paid and volunteer staff.
Items that will be included in the business plan and will require detailed input: develop operating budgets (including but not limited to; utilities, equipment, mortgage, loans, salaries, supplies/materials, maintenance plans, cleaning supplies. Development equipment update/replacement plan. If the church ever need to secure funds – an active and complete business plan is essential. Ensure church is a non profit organization and make sure steps are taken to maintain that status. Each item within a business plan
must have check and balances in places (for example – financial reports should have regularly scheduled audits from an outside organization or individual – not someone affiliated with the church. The operating budget should be presented to the congregation and provide an opportunity for questions, concerns, etc.
Why a business plan – business plans make churches look into all aspect and details of
all operations (from the toilet paper to the pastor's salary and everything in between. Providing inspiration, vision, determination, and action.
Strengths weakness opportunities and threats (SWOT) can help with great ideas to assist target development, growth, and implementation.
Specific is the goal specific enough
Measurable ways to measure success of goal
attainable is goal attainable
Realistic goal written realistically
Timely time frame or line associated to ensure completion date
Each goal must identify responsible parties and what are the action steps to attain the
If a church does the same thing all the time and doesn't see attainable benefits then that will definitely require additional thought and planning when the next planning session is scheduled. Don't be concerned that some things don't get the anticipated results; because you will definitely go back to the drawing board with a different approach and focus.
Business plans aren't about winning or failing; they are plans for growth, prosperity, etc so it will also be a work in progress plan that will only get better each and every time it is revisited. Each revisit is a great brainstorming session and detailed notes must be taken at each session. Work in progress documents should be given to participates for their review and input. I can't say this enough, business plans that TIME, don't rush or you will be an ineffective document that helps the church go no where.