How To Create A Business Plan –
Creating a business plan is perhaps the single most important thing you can do to start and grow a business. A business plan not only covers your business mission and vision but also outlines your strategy for research, marketing, fulfillment and all aspects related to your business. A business plan will serve as your guide, your roadmap, to achieving your business goals and dreams.
Step One: Your Business Description.
The very first thing to do is to sit back and draft a few paragraphs about what your business does. You’ll answer the following questions:
* What does your business do?
* What are your products or services?
* Who is your audience?
* What makes you unique or different from your competition?
Condense your business description until it is concise and can be presented to someone in about thirty seconds.
Step Two: Your Resources, Strengths and Weaknesses
In this second section, make a list of the resources you have for your business. This will include office equipment, products or services, and also any people you can access. For example, your brother-in-law is an attorney and has agreed to help you with the formation of your company.
You’ll also want to conduct an analysis of your strengths and weaknesses. What skills, knowledge and experience do you bring to your business? What areas are you weak in? Will you need help or further education?
Step Three: Your Business Organization and Legal Considerations
What type of company are you going to form?
* Sole Proprietorship,
* Limited Liability Company
Each offers significant benefits depending on your situation and goals.
You’ll want to take a look at the certifications, regulations, and insurance needs for your industry and location. Additionally, you’ll want to take a look at how you’re going to handle financial reporting and taxes.
Step Four: Operating Requirements
What do you need to start and grow your business? This is the place on your business plan where you outline what you need to get started, for example your office equipment. You’ll also want to outline the tasks required to run your business and who will perform those tasks. For example, an accountant or bookkeeper, a shipping and fulfillment person, a virtual assistant, a copywriter and so on.
Step Five: Financial Goals
What are your financial goals and how will you achieve them? Outline your present finances, how much you have to invest into your business. Also outline your financial goals and how you’re going to achieve them. If you’re seeking financing from an outside source, this section will be looked at very closely. You’ll want to create a budget along with your pricing strategy for your products or services.
Step Six: Sales and Marketing
This is a big section of your business plan and perhaps the most adaptable. It will change as you grow. In this section you’ll want to outline your competition, who they are and what they do well. You’ll also want to outline your strengths and how you’re going to position yourself above your competition.
You’ll also want to outline your marketing strategy and the various tactics you’re going to take to promote awareness and sales. For example are you going to have a website, flyers, and advertisements and so on.
Step Seven: Executive Statement
This is the conclusion of your business report and where you’ll wrap it all up into a nice concise package. You’ll include your mission and vision statement here along with a summary of the previous six sections.
Congratulations! Once you’ve completed your business plan you have a plan you can refer to, to keep your business on track. It’s the best way to attain your goals and to achieve the business success you desire.