Do you have a business plan? Why is the business plan so important? If you have a business you have a starting point you have direction you have focus. Without a business plan you may not have considered all the important factors that can affect your business success or failure.
Business plans do more than set you on course they make you aware of all the things you may not have considered. When writing your business plan start with the easy information and work your way through it. Don’t look at the plan as a whole but start by breaking it down.
Your company information is your first step. Your legal description, your history and your start up plans is what you will put in your company information section. Your product and/or service information is next. What will you sell, where will your revenue come from? This section will help you develop your ideas and possibly make you think about things you hadn’t considered. At this point you may add other products/services or focus your business in other areas.
Market Analysis – have you done your research? Who will your customers be? What are your customer’s needs, how will you find your customers? Knowing who you will be selling to and why they would want what you are offering will help you realize the potential demand for your product. At this point being realistic about you products and services will help you understand why you may or may not be successful in getting those sales.
Strategy and Implementation – what are the management responsibilities, do you have a timeline or specific dates for rolling out the start up and continuation of your business. Do you have a budget that corresponds to a timeline in your business? Do you have a guideline to measure how you will get from point A to B and the costs associated with it?
Web Plan Summary – do you have an e-commerce plan? Have you considered the cost of a website and the type of website to best promote your business? How does your sales and marketing, operations, tie into your e-commerce plan? What is your marketing plan?
Management Team – who are the key management people and what skills and experience do they have to carry out the plans of this business? What is their roll and how will they help your business move forward.
Financial Analysis – have you created a financial budget, cash flow statement, projected income statements, to understand how your business will get started and continue to operate.
Executive Summary – the executive summary is presented at the beginning of your Business Plan however it is generally written after you have finished all other sections of your plan. There are several websites that can offer assistance in writing your plan and there is a vast amount of information to guide you through the process.
A Business Plan will help you develop your business idea and in some cases make you realize you shouldn’t move forward with your idea at all. Creating a business plan is a valuable exercise in developing your business idea and in helping you determine your potential success by pushing you to understand all aspects of your business.