A business plan to a business is what maple syrup is to pancakes – absolutely necessary! As with all other things in life, you need to be organized and cooperative with all aspects of your venture in order to be a successful entrepreneur. A business plan not only helps you in this regard, but it also guides you through the outline of the future plans you hold for the business.
Regardless of whether you have just started your enterprise, or whether you are trying to grow it, a business plan is crucial to acquire the success you desire. If you are a young entrepreneur, you might be questioning whether a business plan is even necessary, and to answer that: it absolutely is.
When you understand that your business plan is indefinitely the answer to most of your questions regarding the future plans for your business and how you plan to conduct them, it is only then that you will be able to devise a plan that is truly unmatchable. This guide will help you do just that.
How-To: Business Plans
We’re already aware of the importance and significance of business plans. The next step is how to create a business plan that not only smashes competitors, but ensures that your business is on the right track over a given period of time.
1. Devise a Timeline
The first and most important step is to decide where you want to take your business in around 1, 3, 5 or even 10 years. The timeline is entirely up to you and is largely dependent on the development of your business that you have planned in your head. Typically, a new or small business’ main focus should be on growth and expansion, and the time period to make this happen can be anywhere from 1 to 5 years. Large businesses tend to focus on beating the competitors and pay more attention to the fame game.
2. Analysis of the Company
The company analysis generally revolves around the products and services that are offered by you to the buyers. What products and services does your company offer right now? What products and services do you plan on including or producing in the future? Will these products and services generate more profit? These are questions that will help develop this section of the business plan.
3. Analysis of the Market
How big is the industry? How has it changed and how does it continue to evolve? What are the recent trends that the industry has grasped? Pay close attention to the answers of these questions. Often times, entrepreneurs fail to notice that the industry they are a part of is constantly evolving and generating goods and services that are newer and a lot more improved in comparison to the existing ones. Hopefully you will not fall among the ignorant, and to do so you must always be aware of whom you are working with.
While working in any industry, it is crucial to know your competitors well. Jot down who you think is a potential competitor and what their strengths and weaknesses are. You can build on their weaknesses in order to gain a significant advantage over them. Notice the areas that are your strengths, and how they can be used against your competitors.
5. Potential Customers
There are plenty of customers, but there is always a target audience. Identify who you want to target and what their psychographic and demographic profiles are. What do they want or need in products and services? What can you provide in order to make your company more desirable?
6. Marketing Plan & Your Team
This is an important, but a rather complicated step. Now that you know who your target audience is, it is vital that you devise a marketing plan of how you can reach them. In order to cater to the desired audience, you need to adapt promotional tactics in order to reach your goal. How will you do this? What brand positioning will you use? How and what will be the price of the goods and services you offer?
Along with that, ensure that you are aware and familiar with the team working with you. A company’s best asset is its employees. It is important that you plan ahead of time and note the strengths and weaknesses of your existing team, and then hire a potential employee who has the skills you are seeking for the benefit of your business.
The whole point of a business plan is to set milestones and goals that must be achieved by the end of a certain time period. Make a list of the improvements you wish to see and the achievements you wish to accomplish by the end of this time period, and work in accordance to this. Ask yourself questions such as where do you want to be by the end of the time period? What do you hope to have achieved by then?
8. Calculate Finances
How much capital do you currently have? How much more do you need? What are the current expenses? How do you plan to cope with future expenses? Do you need external funding? What will be the key point that you want to invest in? What are your predicted profits and revenues over a given period of time? Which assets will you need for the final success? All of these questions must be answered and added to the business plan.
When you take all of these factors into consideration, it will give you a much clearer idea about the future of your business and how you plan to carry it out. You can even try to create a sample business plan before you finalize your first draft.
Get Help from the Experts
Creating a business plan may not be the easiest thing to do, but it’s definitely not the most difficult either, especially when you’re working with BizCentral USA. Our team of experts are skilled and trained in everything related to business. Contact us at 1(407)857-9002 today.