Starting Up: Business Plan Tips From Experts
Are you tired of conforming to the whims of your boss? Do you feel like you are ready for something bigger? Well, you are not the only one; many aspiring entrepreneurs start their own businesses every year. However, running a startup is not all fun and games. As wise Uncle Ben once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Of course, this involves taking care of administrative duties and pesky tasks like coming up with a solid business plan. Before you deem your business a lost cause, let us assure you that writing a good business plan is not as scary as it may seem at first. Still do not believe it? Check our following guide that will enable you to come up with the perfect business plan for your startup.
Start with the Basic Details
Sure, you may have a gazillion ideas jumping around in your head; however, how many of them are actually winning business ideas? To keep this extremely simple, start with the goal of your startup. Do you want to build a brand for yourself and maybe set yourself apart from the competition? Do you want to focus more on offering superb customer service and the best deals on your niche? All these questions will help you find out your objective. Also, in this section, you have to specify the type of products and services you want to offer your customers in addition to the target market you want to deal with. Make sure to mention if you are planning to set up physical stores or run your business online, as this will also give you some sense of direction and pinpoint the strategies you will implement later on.
Get Financials Out of the Way
Now that the easy part is done, it is time to focus on the finances of your startup. While this section might sound intimidating, you will find that it is very easy to tackle. According to your chosen business field, you may have a general idea about the amount of funding you will need to kick start your business. After jotting down this sum, you should also add the type of lender you want to resort to. If you have enough personal capital, then you can skip this part. On the other hand, if you need extra funding, specify whether you want to take a loan from a traditional lender or a P2P lending website. If you're in need of funding for purchasing equipment, another great option is looking for online lenders. Based on the information found in this article, P2P lending websites like Ekassa can offer better rates than banks, as they connect investors with borrowers directly. However, to avoid scams, you should always read reviews to find reputable P2P lending websites. Moreover, make sure to add enough information about your projected sales and costs. Keep in mind that around 27% of startups fail because they run out of cash, so setting realistic expectations when it comes to your income, expenses, and cash flow can help your company avoid sinking before it even sets sail.
Sort Out the Company's Hierarchy
If you think that you can just skip this step because you plan on hiring a small number of employees, then you are gravely mistaken. Finding out how your company's structure is going to function is one of the most important steps in writing a solid business plan. To make it easier, use visuals like infographics to determine the number of departments you will have. Start from the top of the structure (you) and work your way down to the smallest members of your staff. Having a solid idea about your company's structure will help your business operate smoothly in the long run.
Size Up the Competition
Big fish eat little fish; this is simply how the business world works. Thus, you should always analyze your competition and add this information to your business plan. Knowing how many businesses serve the same market and the strategies they implement is crucial. While you can learn a lot from your competitors, you should also add your personal touch when coming up with your marketing plan. Finally, identify your advertising strategies according to the budget you've already allocated to marketing. You can hire an expert to help you with this if you do not know much about marketing.
A well-written business plan can go a long way towards helping your business thrive. When coming up with a plan for your startup, you should always include its objective, funding sources, budget, structure, and marketing strategies. After you finish writing the plan, review it later with a fresh mindset. The first draft should never be the final plan, so make sure to revise it more than once.