When thinking of starting a business, it all begins with a good business plan to pitch your dream.
More than just an essential part of the process, it sets the foundation for your business and helps entrepreneurs determine what their business is all about. Gone are the days of 70+ page business plans -but the company that doesn’t take time to at least put pen to paper will often feel like they’re navigating without a compass or a map.
Business planning helps in day to day operations, marketing strategies and financial planning.
A basic outline can help you determine where to start this process and how to jump in.
All business begins with an idea. Explore ideas and plans – both concrete and abstract. Connect them in a real sense to create your purpose and foundation.
Decide what is the purpose of your business, what do you plan to market, and how would you like to serve your target audience. Also, decide how your business to be recognized in the eyes of clients.
Some sample categories we use in business planning:
Your business description should be a brief outline of the type of operation, the business name, what services or products are you selling and their pricing.
The mission statement represents the core ideals of the business.
Goals are your desired projections in numbers.
Objectives are what you want to accomplish in words.
You must identify the market sectors that care about why you do what you do. Those can be internal and external categories. Break down these segments as specific as you can. Just because you communicate with one group in a certain way doesn’t mean it will work for a different target audience.
Make a list of your top competitors and how the business differs from each one. The company that doesn’t pay attention to their competitors is the company operating in a vacuum.
Determine how your business operates and what resources you need to make this possible. This will also include the location and any equipment necessary to run the business efficiently. Determine the hours of operation and potential number of employees.
Marketing, Public Relations and Promotions.
Briefly describe how you plan to promote and market your business. Be as specific as you can in your strategic planning.
Attach a cost to everything you’ll need for your first day of business. This can include equipment purchases and rental costs, employees, business license expenses and initial product inventory you need to start your business.
Think about your goals and what you want to accomplish in the long haul. A solid business plan outline allows you the freedom to get out there and create, without worrying about the mundane day-to-day smaller issues. While still important, these should not detract from the big picture.
“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe”. Anatole France
See you at The Point of Influence,