So you have a fantastic idea for a new product that is going to change the world? Maybe you’ve identified a niche market and have just the thing to satisfy demand?
What do you do first?
My advice?.....you have to have a sound and well thought out business plan.
So many small business owners you speak to will tell you outright that they enthusiastically launched boots and all into their business without so much as a second thought as to business planning. They had a winning idea and the funds to launch it so just go for it right?
Well I’m all for the entrepreneurial spirit, but how do you steer the business through development and growth without a plan?
A business plan is a vital tool for understanding how your business is put together. It becomes your structured road map to monitoring progression, allowing you to be held accountable (to yourself in many cases) and take control of the businesses future.
The very exercise of writing your business plan forces you to analyse and review everything: operational plan, financial plan, marketing strategies and staffing options. It allows you to make the connections between how your marketing activities can generate the necessary sales, or your day to day operations dictate staffing levels and where your customers are going to come from. It helps you consider how you target wholesalers and source the best product.
As an entrepreneur your business plan becomes your pivot point, giving you a baseline to assess and reassess your operational plan, short term targets and long term goals. It becomes an even more important document if you are launching into a partnership or joint venture because it spells out the expectations of each party - the commitment, financial expectations, management structure and the vision and mission.
If you are looking to finance your business, either through a financial institution or private investor, a sound and detailed business plan will be mandatory to demonstrate how well thought out and planned your product or business is. It will show the level of time and attention to detail you have put into structuring your business and how you can grow the business into the future, If you have thought about succession planning and whether you have put all the correct policies and procedures in place to future proof your business.
So before you launch head long into the land of the entrepreneur, make sure you have dotted your I’s and crossed your t’s – write your business plan and use it to guide you to success!