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How to Start up a Business - A Definitive Guide
A Definitive Guide
"you fail to plan, you fail to plan"
Did you know that 30% of all start-ups without a business plan fail in the first year. Also after 5 years that 95% of those that are still around had a business plan.
Now I know this is a negative start to this guide, but the point I am tring to make and I urge you to follow is this. You need to PLAN! Not just in your head but write it down. What happens if you have an accident and can't come back to this for 6 months, there's no way you remember all the details, this leads me onto me first topic:
Great books on Staring up your own Business
Now this is not information on how to write a business plan, but it is to show you the importance of a business plan and sources of information how to complete a business plan.
Firstly I'd like to make a bold statement, that your Business Plan is your new companies MOST important document. Without it you are much more likely to fail in the short, medium or the long term, and this is why, what is you business plan about and what are it's features:
- Reflects the ethos and purpose of your business right when enthusiasm was at it's highest...conception.
- It gives clear targets and milestones, allowing you to evaluate performance against indicators specific to your business.
- It clearly defines your business practices, management and gives room for future expansion.
- Gives potential investors an insight to your business.
- Has a detailed marketing plan to help you get your product/service into the market.
- Has financial projections, to help you secure funding, and understand the costs, and potential profits involve...BE REALISTIC!
These are just a few of the benefits of having a business plan, and remember that a business plan is a "working" document, it is supposed to be used and reviewed so that it is always in line with your current business model.
There are many sources of information on the internet some of them free and others cost. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. The free ones obviously, you have a template and you can input your information as required, however this takes a substancial amount of time and also advice is limited, however the major advantage is that this is free. However if you are pushed for time, or you don't have the support to create a great business plan then quite often it is a good idea to go to a professional business writer, these vary in price from £300 to many thousands, however as a start up should never be more than about £1000 and more often around the £500 mark. These companies have the expertise and experience of writing many business plans, and good ones will ensure you are involved in every section, to ensure that it reflects your business cleaarly and accurately. Below is a few links to some free sites and some business plan writers whi will help you with writing a business plan.
Business Plan Writers
- Business Plan Solutions For you
A very reasonable and expert company, with a focus on customers and quality. They will create a custom business plan for a fixed price and deliver to deadline. Check them out to see how reasonable your business plan can be.
- Business Plans by Professional Business Plan Writers
Business plan writers and consultants experienced in writing professional business plans. Slightly more expensive plans for medium sized companies.
Free Business Plan Sites
- Business Guide - Small Business Guide - Barclays Small Business
Get Barclays free Start Up Business Guide today. It provides a range of useful information for people wishing to start up their own small business
- Smarta.com advice, guides and networking for small businesses and entrepreneurs
Smarta.com is a business support and advice network for start-ups, small business owners and entrepreneurs. Free practical guides, tools and video interviews.
Now getting advice is a tough business and there is an age old saying "you get what you pay for". However with respect to starting up a new business this dosn't have to be true. There are lot's of initatives throughout the country which provide support and guidence to new business'. A lot of these initiatives com through the county councils, and they will pay for a business advisor from a local enterprise company to help you through the first few difficult months.
These business advisors are an invaluable source of information and I would highly recomend talking to your local council or your local business enterprise office. They will be able to tell you what and how much support is available.
This is a often overlooked aspect of starting a business. Networking is very important! This is with your customers, arrange meetings, attend functions to try and find out what the customer "really" wants.
Meet with your competitors, look at their products, services and work out what makes your product stand out from thiers. If you can meet you competitors directly, knowing what sort of person is behind a product can really help when it comes to marketing and working out where your competition may go next with their product.
Meet with suppliers and other business' which compliment your own, offer services and advice and try to get on good terms with them, as saving a few pence on 10000's of products will soon mount up. Also sending business to them, that you are unable to do, can sometimes lead to them sending you business, this can mount up to a reasonable amount as word of mouth advertising is probably the best you can get.
- Writing business plans for small business: How to Write it yourself for free
Writing a business plan doesn't have to cost you, it is free if you do it yourself and the rewards are great. An interesting article teaching the basics of writing a business plan.
- Business Planning Software Vs Business Plan Writers
Now when it comes to starting your own business, there is nothing more important than your business plan, there is a famous saying amongst business advisers:
- Business plan - Market research
The simple and frank fact is that those companies who understand customers, their buying habits and listen to those; do better. They sell more effectively, can compete in the market, target new customers and identify new opportunities quicker than...
- Business Plan - Executive Summary
An executive summary is a summation of your business plan. It is the first section that a prospective client, financier or customer will read. This means that it must meet the following conditions: Summarise each major section of your plan. ...