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Starting a new business

Updated on September 3, 2007

In the process of creating a new company, most people feel that they need to learn a huge amount of information. Many feel discouraged by this, and postpone what would otherwise be a good opportunity to create jobs, money, and personal fulfilment.

The best way to avoid this difficulty is to create a business plan as the first step. A general plan for your business will give you not only a target, but will help you along the way in the development of your new business.

How to create a business plan

There are many methods you can use to create your business plan. Some people even sell templates for a business plan that you can just fill with information that is particular to your company. Even though this can be a good idea if you need to present the business plan to somebody else (for example, when you are raising money), I don't think it is the best strategy right at the beginning.

What I think is the best is to start thinking by yourself and adding all information you have about the potential business. Where are your clients? What is your product and/or service? Where are you going to get money to start the company? Who would be interested in investing?

These are simple questions that, if answered correctly will help you along the way when you are implementing and making decisions.

Using your plan as a guide

The initial first goal is to use your business plan as a guide for your decisions. This way you can rest assured that your decisions are based on sound thinking, instead of just emotions.

For example, consider the decision of renting or buying office space. You shouldn't make such a decision based on what you think about this issue, but in the context of your plan. For example, you might think that buying makes more sense in the long run, but if your plan has no place for such an expense, you shouldn't make it.

Your business plan as a marketing tool

Another reason why you must have a sound plan for your business is that it can help selling your idea. If you need investors, or a credit line to start your business, you need to show to other people that your business make sense.

This is where it pays to have a well formatted business plan that you can show to interested investors. Such a document can be the difference between a rejection and a new investment in your idea.

Stick to your plan

Whatever the way you created your business plan, you need to stick to it. Make sure that it reflects your initial needs, and perform accordingly.

Several important areas need to be covered, such as marketing, financing, selling, and accounting. If you consider each of these areas, your plan should say what to do at each moment.

Be Flexible

Despite the fact that you should stick to your plan, you must also be quick to recognize failures and change you plan. Changing the plan doesn't mean that you are not following the plan: it means that you found some deficiencies and is changing you planning accordingly.

No matter what change of course you decided, you still need to write what the need plan is, so you don't feel that you are lost.

As you see, the task of creating a business plan is not just for the first days of your business. It is a document that you need to frequently update to record your changes in strategy. Only this way you will be preparing yourself to the difficult tasks necessary in creating a new business.

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