10 Steps to an excellent Small Business Plan

10 Steps to an Excellent Small Business Plan

A small business plan is basically the document that can help current or potential small business owners to guide the objectives of the business and the plan of action to reach those objectives. Unfortunately most people use them to obtain funding or loans to grow or start a business, a bank or financier will want you to have a good plan before they consider whether they will lend you money or not, however there are many benefits to having a good small business plan that you refer to on a weekly or monthly basis when doing your planning.

It is extremely important to have a good solid plan when applying for a small business loan or finance through a private investor but if done well you can use it to refer back to it at all stages of your business. Some things that you might use it regularly for including whether or when to take on new staff or budgets for things like marketing or employing new staff.

10 Steps to an Excellent Small Business Plan

Ø What are product and services to be offered: - This is the first step to starting a small business and you need to be able to define the products and/or services that you are going to offer to your customers. Defining this will help the lender define if you have really thought about how you will make the business viable.

Ø Awareness of Market and Your Competition: - Before starting a small business, you need to be aware of who your competitors are in the market and of what it is that you can do that they are not already doing. What makes your different? Why would they choose you over someone else?

Ø Describing all the tasks that need to be completed to run the business effectively: - This step involves describing the tasks that need to be completed to run the business well prior to starting your small business including setting appointments, bookkeeping, marketing, operations, etc, etc.

Ø What do you need to do to start the business: - This is defining what it is you need to do and how much it will cost you to set up the business or the steps you need to take to get the business to the next level that you are proposing. This could include things like the location, inventory and what type of manpower is required.

Ø Understanding the legalities of running or growing the business: - This step is all about the laws and the regulations that need to be complied with before the business is started or can grow. Have you spoken to the local or state or other authorities about the legalities of your business and do you understand what you need to do?

Ø Analysis of the Small Business Insurance: - This step involves thinking about what kind of risks a business can have and finding out about the small business insurance that is specific to you to protect your business and the interested parties from those risks.

Ø Selection of Business Organisation: - This step involves selecting the operation mode of small business which means whether you are going to operate the business as a company, a partnership or as a sole trader. There are a number of disadvantages and advantages for each of the different options and you need to outline how you have determined the best option for you business.

Ø Financial Plan outlining all estimated potential sales and costs: - This step involves calculating the potential budgeted sales and costs and how you determined those amounts.

Ø Considering Cash Flow and Funding Options: - This step involves preparing a cash flow statement so that you can give the lender or financier an idea of the changes in cash flow and how you will cover those ups and downs.

Ø Valuing Your Family’s Support: - This step involves communicating with your family members and keeping them involved in the process so that they understand when you need extra support.

After owning and managing small to medium businesses for over 18 years Tammy Love is Ms Small Biz -- she has a love/hate relationship with business! She believes that it is really exciting to grow something and provide the best possible service/product for customers but yet it can also be tiring, hard and down right exhausting! She knows that it can also be lonely being a business owner. She is using her website | Facebook page and Twitter to help others achieve their dream of starting or getting through the beast that is small business!

Read more Ms Small Biz small business articles here:

- List of Small Business Ideas

- Small Business Ideas in a Down Economy

- Small Businesses Marketing

Comments 4 comments

Business Tips 7 years ago

Establishing a true competitive advantage such as patents or sole distribution rights is one way to give yourself an edge over your competitors. There is a free business plan course at http://www.smallbusinessfinancetip.com/business-pl...

bookkeeper 7 years ago

Good thorough information, always a pleasure to find info that is useful, will be very happy to see more from you in the future

Frank Crandell 7 years ago

Creating a business plan, I have found, can be very helpful to new business owners. I think of it as a "map" to success and kind of a security blanket during those inevitable downtimes. When business is slow, an owner can refer back to the plan for ideas and remind themselves of everything they wanted to do to make their company successful.

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businessprogramme 6 years ago

A very good article indeed. Points are clearly stated and very informative.

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