Where to start with your business plan
If you are thinking of turning your brilliant business idea into a reality, it can be a very intimidating process. Chances are there are many aspects to your project that you haven’t even considered yet as you have begun thinking it all through. It is important that you construct a good, solid business plan before jumping into anything. It can help you prioritize and figure out your estimated investment of time and resources, usual expenses, and expected profit. Here are some tips to get you started on your business plan.
A good business plan will include a company profile or description. This should be a detailed summary of the type of products or services your business will be providing. It will discuss your target market and the things that will make your business stand out from the others. It will define the need you wish to fulfill, and what you think your advantage over the competition will be, such as a good location or better value.
You will want to analyze the market. If you are bringing a typical product into a flooded market, you will not have as much success as someone with a new and innovative product that will fulfill an unmet need that people typically have. Know who your product or service is geared toward, and what kind of profits and popularity you can expect when launching your business in that particular niche. Look at the statistics of your industry’s typical growth patterns and assess the potential success you might expect.
Outline the organization of your business, such as what positions you will need to fill and how many employees you will need to have. Decide what level of experience you will need to expect your employees to have and how to divide up responsibilities and management. The more you think this out in advance, the more quickly you can be prepared to begin hiring and getting your business off the ground. You will save money by not accidentally over-hiring, and will save time by already knowing exactly who does what and how it can be done most efficiently.
Decide how you will market your service or product and what your advertising campaign will consist of. This should include how you will break into the market, such as a grand opening, and a strategy for continuing to attract new and returning customers.
A business plan should include financial projections. Research the cost of supplies you will need to manufacture your product or rent to have a storefront in the best location. You must take into consideration start-up and maintenance costs, salaries for the employees in the skill level bracket you have deemed necessary, and expense of the appropriate advertising campaign. Also include your estimated sales, which should be based on factual data from the market analysis.
Your financial projection is one of the most important parts of your business plan if you will be applying for loans or seeking investors. Anyone backing your business will want clearly-defined expectations to ensure they are making a wise investment.