By Emy Treurniet at April 12 2019 22:09:40
You may not have thought much about your competition or outsourcing some of your work, but things like that will impact your ability to make a profit. And you will find this especially so in the beginning phases of your business. Even you are just opening a lemonade stand in the front yard, you will still need to know what Susie is selling her lemonade for on the next street over!
But your idea may be so new that you may also need to talk to potential customers, host some focus groups, talk to an ad agency, or maybe even make a prototype and float it past some people. Be prepared to spend the time. Remember, it's not about the Plan but the Planning. Build It on Paper First _ Whether you decide to use business plan writing software or to just follow this guide and create your plan with your word processor, here are the sections of a good plan and the questions that need to be addressed: Cover Page _ Show the name of the company, your name, and the date. Introduction _ What is the name and address of the business? Who are the principals, their titles, and their addresses? What is the nature or purpose of the business? What is your launch date? How much start_up and/or operating capital is needed? Executive Summary _ One to three pages that summarize all the information to follow; come back and write this last.
It's like planning backwards. 1. Determine what you want in life 2. Figure out what your business would need to do to give you that life. 3. Figure out how long it would take you to reach it. 4. Figure out how big of a market it would take each of the years you're planning for. 5. Then see if that market is big enough. Isn't this a much better way to go about planning your business? Shouldn't your business be designed to give you want you want instead of you working yourself to death just hoping for the best? So how would you go about calculating all this?
Certainly when you reach the point where you are looking for investors or lenders, you will move beyond those first casual notes. Until then, drawing upon your expertise can allow you to quickly jump into the market and perhaps gain a competitive edge by using a minimalist plan. The "One Pressing Issue" Plan: Business planning does not stop the day you open for business. Under the best of circumstances you should be revisiting your plan once or twice a year to see how things are going, and where perhaps you've veered away from your original goals. Remember, changing the direction of a business isn't always bad, but it should be intentional.