A business plan is an essential tool for any entrepreneur, whether you are just starting up or have been running your company for some time. A business plan documents all of your long-term goals and plans, as well as the steps you will take to achieve them.
It can also be a helpful reminder of what you planned out earlier. Many successful entrepreneurs say that reading through their past plans helped them focus on more important things in life and gave them motivation to move forward with their own dreams.
Business planning isn’t something that should be done once a year at most universities, nor is it always needed. But if you are thinking about launching a new product or service, having one ready is smart.
There are many types of business plans, so pick one that fits your needs! This article will go over some basics of making a business plan.
Many people start their journey towards running a business by creating a one page business plan. This is definitely not wrong, but you must understand that this plan will be seen and read many times!
That means if it isn’t well thought out or if there are no details included, then what happens is you wasted your time writing it and nobody can help you because there were no steps involved.
You also run the risk of getting too excited about all the great things you want to do with your business and failing to include some key components like how you will manage your money, who you will hire to work for you, etc.
We have gathered some tips here to help you create an effective one-page business plan. Read on to learn more.
The next step in business start-up is establishing your company’s internal structure. This includes deciding who will do what, how you will be organized, and whether there should be one leader or many.
It also means defining roles so that everyone knows their job responsibilities. For example, you can have a product manager, marketing person, accountant, etc., all of whom play an integral part in making your products successful.
You will want to establish clear lines of communication as well. It’s easy to get lost in translation when someone else adds a layer onto yours, so make sure everything makes sense to you.
And don’t forget about team building! Having fun together will help you stay focused and work efficiently towards a common goal.
Many business owners get so focused on the day-to-day operations of their companies that they forget about how important their long-term plans are. What kind of company you want to run will determine what kind of market you target, how you position yourself in that market, and most importantly, what products or services you should offer to meet the needs of your customers.
If you have ideas for new products or services, it’s time to take some steps to bring them to life. Starting off with a simple business plan is a great way to do this.
A business plan isn’t just an idea statement; it’s a detailed blueprint laying out all the steps needed to make your dream come true. By breaking down the process into discrete tasks, you'll keep yourself organized as you grow. And by using ready-made templates, you can easily share your progress with others.
The second important thing to consider is how you want people to perceive your business! What kind of company do you want to associate with your brand? Do you want to be known for big, flashy products that cost a lot or do you prefer lower price points but quality merchandise?
You can increase the perception value of your business by creating an engaging online presence and media coverage. You will also need to make sure your employees are promoting your business in a positive light through their actions and statements.
By developing your business’s image, you will give it much needed credibility and prestige. If your competitors don’t have such strong brands, then you will gain some ground on them!
Your business’s image will play a huge role in its success or failure, so take time today to think about what colors and styles you like and create a lifestyle for yourself and your business off of those things.
A very easy way to organize and structure a business plan is to use an Excel sheet to write your business plan. This method allows you to easily add, edit, and rearrange information as needed.
When organizing your business plan using an excel spreadsheet, one of the first things you should do is create a section for what will be called The Body. The body can be titled anything you like, but I recommend creating a simple title such as “Business Plan” or even just include the word “Plan”.
After that, you can start creating separate sections within the body. These sections are totally up to you, but some common ones are: Company Description, Location, Mission/Vision Statement, Employees, Trading Partners, etc., depending on what part of the business you are talking about.
Once those are done, continue moving onto the next section until all have been completed. Once again, these can be any type of content, it really does not matter.
That being said, this article will go more into detail by giving practical examples of how to organize a business plan in Microsoft Word and then taking a look at some similar ways to organize a business plan in Google Spreadsheets.
After you have drafted your business plan, the next step is to publish it so that others can access it. You will want to make sure that you include enough information for people to understand what you are doing and how to help you with your plans.
It’s very common to put off publishing your business plan because you think there isn’t anything interesting or unique about it. Don’t worry! Most people don’t pay much attention to their own business plans, let alone read them.
But if you wanted to look more closely at someone’s business plan, you would definitely find something valuable in its content. A simple, straightforward business plan contains lots of useful information that could aid anyone who is looking to start a new company.
That said, I’m going to suggest some easy ways to improve the content of your business plan while also making it less boring. And hopefully, after you do these things, then you will be able to publish your business plan and reach out to many potential customers.
Now that you have determined you want to start a business, you will need to get some sort of business license. This is very important because it gives you legal ownership of your business!
Most cities require you to have at least one employee before they will issue you a business license, so now is a great time to be able to hire someone.
You can either do this yourself or find someone who already has a job and pay them to work for you as an assistant manager/part-time employee.
The next step in starting your career as an entrepreneur is registering your business with either state or federal agencies. This not only gives you legal identification for your business, but also puts up a sign that people can use to find you online.
Most states have a department that helps entrepreneurs register their businesses, so make sure to look through their website to see what services they offer. Some of these departments are called the Secretary of State’s Office, Department of Revenue, etc.
The more popular companies will usually have free registration, while others may ask for a small monthly fee. You should do some research and figure out which ones are the most affordable and reliable!
Some examples of agency types are:
Business Services- These include things like registering trademarks, copyrighting materials, and incorporating. Most of these cost around $50-$150 per service.
Accountant/CPA Services – Depending on how big your business gets, you might need someone to help you run it correctly. An accountant can give you advice about money and running a business, and sometimes she or he will even handle all of the paperwork for you.
Website Design – Creating a nice looking website for your business can be expensive, especially if you are buying a pre-made template.