How To Create A Business Plan
How to Create a Business Plan
Do you know the single most important thing you can do when you set out to create and grow a business of your own?
The Answer --> Create a Business Plan!
Your unique business plan should include not only your business' vision and mission statements, but also outlines of all aspects related to your business - research, product creation, sales and marketing, product fulfillment, and more.
You business plan should be a living document that will serve as your unique guide, your road map, to achieving all your business goals and dreams.
This lens has been created to help you create the all-important business plan!
Describe Your Business
Make It Short & Sweet!
Before you go into business for yourself, you need to define exactly what your business will do. Sit down with a pad and pencil, or at your keyboard, and write out your answers to these questions:What will your business do?What products or services will your business provide?What is the target audience for your business?In what ways will your business be unique and different from your competition?
Then, work on condensing and fine-tuning this business description until it is short and to-the- point - no more than a two or three short paragraphs - and can be verbally presented to someone in about thirty seconds.
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Determine Your Strengths & Weaknesses
Where Will You Need Business Help?
Next, you'll need to make a list of all the resources you have available for your business, as well as any resources you lack.
To begin with, brainstorm a list of all the assets you own or knowledge you have that will be of benefit to your business, such as:Specialized skills you possess - such as copywriting, website creation, marketing & salesAvailable office equipment - such as a computer, copier, fax machine...Friends & relatives you can depend on for things such as legal assistance, market knowledge, accounting experiences...
You also need to make a list of your business' current weaknesses, such as:Need further education about social networkingNeed to purchase accounting softwareNeed more four- and five-star reviews for my latest ebook.
Before you can figure out where you're going, you need to know where you're starting from!
Business Organization & Legal Considerations
Choose Your Operating Structure
You'll need to determine what type of business entity you wish to create, including - but not limited to:Sole ProprietorshipPartnershipCorporationLimited Liability Company
Each business type has pros and cons depending upon your own unique situation and business goals.
There are local considerations as well. You'll need to research applicable regulations, certifications, insurance needs, etc. for your business' location and industry type.
Finally, determine how you're going to want to handle your accounting, financial reporting and taxes.
Determine Your Operating Requirements
What Will You Need to Start Your Business?
This is where you get into specifics about equipment and specialized services you will need.
Equipment - Items such as:ComputersCopiersFax machineCell phone
Services - People such as:Virtual AssistantBookkeeper/AccountantCopywriterWeb Designer
Your Financial Goals
How Much Will You Earn?
One of the most important parts of your business plan is determining what your financial goals are and how you plan to achieve them. After all, you want to make money, don't you?
Start with your present finances. Determine how much of your own funds will be available for you to invest in your business.
Next, outline your financial goals for the business. How much money do you want and/or need to make, and how do you plan to make that happen?
Finally, create a beginning budget for your business. Make sure you include a proposed pricing strategy for your services and/or products.
This part of your business plan will be especially important if you're going to seek funding from an outside source - individual investors, crowdfunding, etc. Make sure your numbers work!
Sales & Marketing Forecasts
How Will You Beat Your Competition?
In this section you should begin with your competition in mind. Outline your competition - who they are, what they do well, what they do not-so-well.
Then - outline again YOUR strengths and show how you'll be using those strengths of position yourself above the competition.
Next, outline your planned marketing strategies and tactics that you'll use to promote awareness of your brand and product sales. For example - how will you advertise, will you use a website, will you write an ebook, etc.
Keep in mind that the 'Sales & Marketing' section of your business plan is the most fluid part of your business plan. It is "organic" and will change and adapt as your business grows.
Wrap It All Up!
Your Executive Statement comes at the conclusion of your business plan. It is the section in which you'll wrap the whole thing up and put a big, fat red bow on it!
This section should consist of a restatement of your mission and vision statements, and a summary of each of the sections discussed above.
Celebrate! Once you've completed your Executive Summary you're done. For NOW, anyway.
You now have a plan, or road map, that will help keep you and your business on track. If you pay attention to your plan as you go, and update it as needed, you'll be in a great position to reach all the goals you've set and achieve the business success you desire!
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how to create a business plan