If you’ve recently decided to start your own small business, there are many details you’ll have to figure out before you can get your company off the ground. Before that, though, it’s important to first have a business plan in place to act as a framework for building and expanding your business. Here are the four basic steps you need to take to write a comprehensive and useful business plan.
Decide What You’re Offering and for How Much
The most fundamental aspect of any business plan is what product or service you’ll be offering and how much you intend to charge for it. While this may seem like an extremely simple point, it’s important to plan in advance. Knowing what you’re going to do to add value to your customers and how much you should be compensated for that value will help you make production, marketing and growth decisions later on.
Figure Out How You’ll Get Customers
As any successful entrepreneur can tell you, a product or service is worthless if you don’t have customers to pay you for it. As a result, it’s critical that your business plan include at least a basic marketing framework. Decide who your ideal customer is and how you can make that person aware of your business, and you’ll be much better positioned to hit the ground running when you start your company.
Include Plans for Medium-term Growth
Although all businesses start out small, it’s important to have at least some path charted for growth. Including plans for hiring, scaling and volume increases in your business plan can help you navigate the growth process more easily and make fewer mistakes along the way. If you need help developing a growth plan, you may want to consult with a business development agency for experienced guidance.
Plan for Success, Prepare for Failure
No matter how good your business model is, there are bound to be some obstacles along the way. One of the best things you can do to prevent your business from failing when these obstacles arise is to try to predict them and write contingencies for them into your business plan. Try to consider possibilities like legal difficulties, slower than expected growth or production problems and decide how you could handle them. By having a plan in place in advance, you can make it much easier to navigate difficult situations when they do arise.
By putting these four items into your business plan, you can successfully prepare for profitability and growth while also ensure you have plans in place for when things go wrong. Once your business plan is complete, you can start putting together the money and equipment you’ll need to get started and begin making money from your new business.