You’ll have a document outlining clear signposts and landmarks to help drive the business forward during those tricky first few months and years of a new business.
Research, Research and Research Some More
Research cannot be underestimated. Anyone can write a brief ‘story’ about their aspirations and where they see themselves in 10 years time, but without backing it up with facts, your business plan may as well be just that, a story.
Dig as deep as you can and put together sound financial information that underpins your evolution and eventual success. Without credible figures your business plan will not make sense and you’re likely to struggle to find funding. Be ambitious but realistic, and most of all don’t just write your plan with a bank manager in mind. It has to show heart and soul, facts and figures and also a clear pathway for your success, a guide for you and your company, not just an enticement for investors.
Start Where You Want to End Up
Although this is technically written last, an executive summary will be the first thing anyone sees within your business plan. The executive summary will outline your key points as a business. What products or services you plan to sell, how you’ll market them and to which target audience. It will also give a brief description of where you see your business ending up and how you plan to get there.
Seek and Take Advice
Before showing your business plan to the bank and other potential investors in your business don’t be too proud to seek the advice of others. Be it friends, family or other business people you’ve met, look at ways to improve your plan with honest and constructively critical opinions. There’s no failure in drafting your plan a number of times and fine-tuning it until it’s the best it can be. After all this will be your map and guide over the first few years of your business. Sure, you’ll tweak thing along the way but this will provide a critical measure of your progress and let you know where you wanted to be at certain junctures.
Your business plan is essential, both for funding and guidance. Iron out those kinks in your thinking; find the right path for your products and services and head out with a clear idea of where you want to end up. It’s the only way to evolve as a business without getting stuck in the mud at the very beginning of your journey.
We have a number of articles relating to start-up business support, aiding you in everything you need to know about venturing into the world of owning your own business. You can also find a Business Plan Template in our Downloads section.