For most small business owners, writing a business plan can be an intimidating prospect, especially if you’ve never done it before or if you’re short on time. Fortunately, many of the most essential elements of writing a strong business plan are simple and easy to implement. Here’s how to write a business plan that gets results in just nine steps
Understand your business
1) What is your business? First, define the basics of your company. Write a one-sentence summary of what your company does.
2) Why is it different from all other options out there?
3) How does your service make people’s lives better?
4) How will this impact the world in 5-10 years?
5) Who are you selling this idea to, how do they think and what will resonate with them?
Know your competitors
It’s important to know your competitors, as this will allow you to see how you measure up. These are the other options in your field. Once you know what others have done and whether or not it’s working for them, it can give you ideas for what may work for your business and what might not work at all. Plus, knowing who is out there will help with marketing since you’ll be able to pinpoint where your prospective customers might be coming from.
Acknowledge your own limitations
I’m not going to lie, I don’t know everything about starting a business. But what I do know, is that being honest with yourself about the obstacles you face will help you overcome them quicker and more easily. There is no ‘one size fits all solution for how to start your own business, so as long as you keep your eye on the ultimate prize, every risk can be made worthwhile.
For entrepreneurs, the business plan is the roadmap for success. The process of writing one can be daunting, but it’s also essential in making sure your business idea is fully fleshed out and in line with your goals.
Get people to help you
Writing a business plan on your own can be tough – getting feedback and advice from others who have experience will make the process less daunting. With these tips, you’ll get great advice and information that will help you put together an efficient, actionable business plan in no time.
Where are you going?
In order to be able to follow through and execute your business plan, you need an idea of where you’re going. Knowing your overarching goals will keep you on track throughout the plan’s process. So what are your goals?
These are the most important questions that need to be answered: * What is your goal for this company? * How do you know when you have achieved it? * What would be considered a success for this company?
What resources do you need?
A laptop, printer, and mouse. Knowledge of internet resources like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. A list of potential business partners who would be on the same page with you. Examples of similar businesses that have succeeded.
How will you make money?
To make money from your business, you must have the capability to make and sell something. If you don’t sell anything, then there’s nothing to market. In this section of your plan, try to answer the question what am I selling? without getting into too many specifics on how you’re going about it. It’s best that your sales forecast is optimistic and achievable for what you think your company will grow into.
How will you measure success?
Success can be defined in many ways. For our purposes, we will measure success by how many of the 9-step processes you were able to complete and fully incorporate into your business plan. If you were able to do all 9 steps, then you are ready for success!
1. Write out what your company does.
2. Make sure that there is some measurable definition of success tied to this mission statement so that everyone has an understanding of what success looks like.
3. Get as much financial information together as possible: projections, budgets, forecasts, etc.