Starting a new business involves a certain amount of risk. You can never know with certainty if your business will be a success; though, if you plan carefully and thoroughly research the steps involved in starting a business then you may have a better chance of having your business succeed. The first thing you should get started on is the writing of a detailed business plan. A business plan helps you map out your goals and plan before you officially start your business.
When writing your business plan it is a good idea to use a word processor so that you can easily make changes and revisions as you fill in various details. As you begin fleshing out your plan, remember to include titles and subtitles to help break up the content.
Business Plan Summary and Business Description
At the top of your business plan should be a concise summary of your overall plan. Write one or two paragraphs about your goals. When you get more of your business plan completed, you can go back and add to this summary. It should also include your mission statement and any other information that you feel should be included in a summary of your business plan.
Next, describe your company. Explain what industry you are hoping to be a part of and what types of products or services you intend to sell. You should also try to offer some insight into what sets your company apart from your competition.
Your next section should include details about your industry. Detail various facts, including how large your industry is, what demographic you are attempting to target, the average price range of the products or goods that you will be selling. You can also include information about your main competition.
Now you will offer some details about how you intend to manage your business. Do you plan on hiring employees? The larger your potential business, the more positions there will be. Include the management structure and as much detail as you can think of.
Sales and Marketing Strategy
Your business plan should also explain your basic marketing and sales strategy. Decide how you plan on marketing your products or services and what steps you will take to sell your goods. Think about how you want to reach customers, how you will handle sales, and a growth strategy. Your sales and marketing strategy is one of the most important parts of your business plan as it outlines how you plan on selling your goods and how you want to attract customers. Take your time with this section and make sure you do your research.
If you plan on seeking investors or attempting to get a loan for your business then the next section of your business plan should cover funding and financial projections. Some of the information that should get added to the funding section includes how much funding you require and a breakdown of how you plan on using your funding. Explain where your funds will go, how much employees will get paid, and various other financial information.
Follow this up with financial projections. You should attempt to project your potential earnings each quarter, for the year, and even for the next five years. When you attempt to get a loan or present your business plan to investors, be prepared for them to thoroughly analyze every aspect of your business plan.
That covers the overall outline of a basic business plan. Spend a lot of time performing research and filling out your business plan. Add as much detail as you can. If you think of something you would like to include but do not know what section to put it under, add an appendix at the end. Also, remember to go back and revise your business plan summary when the rest of the plan is completed.
Creating a thorough business plan is just the first step of starting your own business, but it does help you remain focused on your original goals. As things get moving and you are closer to launching your business, go over your business plan periodically to ensure you are sticking with the plans that you set.
If you have any questions about creating a business plan or require other help with starting your business leave us a comment below.