Writing a Business Plan? Do These 5 Things First
There are a few things to have in mind before writing a business plan. You know you want to start a business, but you’re having a tough time articulating your idea. Business plan is not a rush but dealings with strategic pointing. If you want to become an entrepreneur, it’s important to start with a great business idea. Get more guidance; get more elaborations on your project. All you need is a bit of inspiration. It all starts with an idea that has room to grow over time. This article includes 15 great business ideas that can help you find success in 2020 and beyond.
How can I start my own business with no money?
There are a few people who run businesses that were started with almost nothing but their inspiration. You don’t need money to become a small business owner. The first step in starting a business with no money is to keep your current job and launch your small business as, for now, a side pursuit. Then, develop your business plan and analyze your consumer base, market, and potential challenges. Near the final stages of this planning, you’ll better understand how much money you need to start your business. You can find this money through crowdfunding platforms and investors. Consider taking out loans only as a last resort.
How do I start a small business from home?
Home-based businesses tend to be the most convenient and manageable small business ideas. Home-based businesses are suitable especially when starting your first business creation. That said, not all great business ideas are suited for home offices, so make sure your business can be conducted from. In your business plan and budget, be sure to incorporate any office supplies and tools that make your online business ideas feasible, such as a separate business computer, a proper desk, high-speed internet, filing cabinets and a website for your business.
If you’re ready to run your own business, consider any of these 15 great business ideas.
When you’re first getting serious about starting a business, the first thing you should do is write a business plan. Business plans serve several key functions that make them indispensable for successfully launching a new company. Not only do they serve as a roadmap to guide you in the early days of your business, but they also serve as an opportunity to research market conditions, competitors and potential pitfalls you might not be aware of. Here at Business Leaders, we reach out to business owners to give them guidance in business plan and management. Business Leaders is meant to help small businesses grow and help beautiful business plans and projects to be realized.
To note, business plans are both an analytical and planning tool, two components that are essential for getting a new business off the ground. This guide offers you key insights into how to create a high-quality business plan that will serve your business now and in the future.
What is a business plan?
Starting a business without a business plan is like going for a mountain trip in a strange environment without a road map. As with most ideas, the best way to execute them is to have a plan. A great idea for a startup isn’t enough; it must be accompanied by a plan of action.
A business plan is a written outline that you present to others, such as investors, whom you want to recruit into your venture. It’s your pitch to these people, sharing with them what your startup idea is and how you expect to make money from it. A well elaborated business setup.
Why do I need a business plan?
Have in mind that starting a business is not a relaxing bed of roses. Starting a new business comes with headaches. Being prepared for those headaches – and trying to get ahead of them – can greatly decrease the impact they could have on your business. One important step in preparing for the challenges your startup may face is writing a solid business plan.
Writing a business plan helps you understand more clearly what you need to do to reach your goals. The finished business plan also serves as a reminder to you of these goals. It’s a valuable tool that you can refer back to, helping you stay focused and on track.
How do I present my business plan?
Most plans are realized with software such as PowerPoint. Your business plan can be written as a document or designed as a slideshow, such as a PowerPoint presentation. It may be beneficial to create both versions. For example, the PowerPoint can be used to pull people in, and the document version that contains more detail can be given to them as a follow-up.
What should a basic business plan include?
For a startup idea, according to Tim Berry, an angel investor and founder of Palo Alto Software, who wrote on Quora.com, “… the bones of it ought to include just a few pages to list key strategy points, key tactics, important milestones, metrics, tasks, and essential projections, including sales, spending and cash flow.”
How detailed should my business plan be?
Giant business, small business, all depends on the nature of your idea and how complicated or simple it is. If you’re writing a plan for a startup, it can be 10 pages or less, according to Berry. To appeal to investors, another version of this business plan can be put together later that has more details, such as charts, specifically targeted to potential investors.
How can I start my business plan with no money?
You can use Google Docs and Google Slides (both applications are free). The apps come with templates that you can use to create a business plan quickly.
What part of my business plan should I create first?
The technicalities and standard information that go into a business plan are easy enough to figure out. But there are other, more abstract things, to consider before you put pen to paper.
Make sure you take the following five steps before drafting your business plan.
1. Determine your purpose.
Having a plan to make a profit is important, but it’s not the only thing that matters when you start a business.
“Business plans … encourage entrepreneurs to focus on what they are going to do,” said Alan Williams, co-author of The 31 Practices (LID Publishing Inc., 2014). “This overlooks two more important questions: ‘why’ – why it exists and why employees would want to get out of bed in the morning, and ‘how’ – the values of the business, what it stands for, and how people representing the business will behave.” All of these questions should be looked upon.
Williams advised entrepreneurs to take time to identify and articulate their business’s core values and purpose – both will serve as your organization’s compass for decision-making at all levels. Williams’ co-author, Alison Whybrow, said that this “compass” can be discovered by having an honest, open conversation with your team.
“One thing that a team might want to do is engage in a formal assessment process – looking at habits, beliefs, values, and capability – so that they are working from a clear starting point and have a framework for discussion about working styles, strengths, and individual and collective blind spots,” Whybrow said.
2. Build your vision.
The key to business success is having a clear vision of what you want to accomplish as a company, experts say. But before you write a business plan, you should come up with three to five key strategies that will enable you to achieve that vision, advised Evan Singer, CEO of SmartBiz, a provider of SBA loans.
“Sometimes, less is more,” Singer said. “It’s far better to do three things very well versus 10 things not so well.”
An additional, imperative aspect of your business plan is the mission statement, which is the “why” you’re doing what you do.
“The first sentence of the mission statement should be why you’re in business,” said Tina Bacon-DeFrece, president of Big Frog Franchise. “After you fully understand the why, then you need to define ‘what’ you are going to do and ‘how’ you’re going to do it. The third and final part of the mission statement should be the ‘who’ you want as customers and how you are going to treat them.”
Once you’ve completed the mission statement, said Bacon-DeFrece, it’s an easy transition to develop your value proposition statement that defines what makes you unique in the marketplace and how you intend to differentiate and position your business.
3. Clarify your business model.
Alex Muller, senior vice president and chief product officer of GPShopper at Synchrony, said a good financial model includes many of the details you put in your formal business plan – for example, hiring, pricing, sales, cost of acquisition, expenses and growth. Like a business plan, your model should be revisited and updated as the realities of your business unfold.
“Start [answering] what-ifs,” said Muller. “‘If I sell this product at this price point and this is the cost of client acquisition, what rates of return can I get?’ When you’re done building [and testing] the business model, then you can go back [and] write a business plan.”
4. Identify your target market.
Identifying a target market can be a tricky obstacle. To narrow down your market, Grant Leboff, CEO of Sticky Marketing Club, advised answering the question, “Why am I uniquely placed to solve the problem?”
“If you are unable to answer the question, you either have the wrong target market or the wrong offering,” Leboff wrote in a blog post. “More work will need to be done before you start targeting your potential customers.”
If what you offer isn’t the most attractive to the type of client you want, you may need to change your offering or define your target market differently, Leboff added.
5. Test your business idea.
After writing a business plan, test it. Entrepreneurs should talk to industry experts, potential customers in their target market and other entrepreneurs to determine their business’s viability, said Kara Bubb, principal consultant at Kara Bubb Product Consulting.
“Talk to some real potential future clients [and experts], and ask for some honest feedback,” Bubb said. “What do they think about your business idea? Who, specifically, are you targeting? How big is the market? Will your market buy what you are selling? Who is your competition?
Simply writing a business plan will not make your company successful, but it gives you a road map to get there. The forethought put into the plan identifies the milestones by which you can mark your progress.