Achieve a vision for your business with a business plan
Get clarity on your business with a business plan
Your start-up needs a business plan to get off the ground
So, you have a great business idea. But what is your next step? You’ve probably got a million thoughts running through your head. Should I hire somebody? Do I need to get myself registered? Should I borrow money? Where do I see this going in five years? That’s a good sign it’s time to put pen to paper and write out a business plan.
Your business plan is a living document that will serve as a north star to anchor growth and monitor progress. First, it shows you the extent of what you do know. Second, it can help you work out a schedule for your tasks to get your idea to where it can be called a business. Third, a coherent document can give you the foundation to seek help from others, whether that is a friend, family member, or bank. We’re happy to help you put together a great business plan for your start-up.
This article will not cover a formal business plan as required by an investor. That kind of business plan is often a more technical exercise and is put together in a structured document. Here, we will cover how to put together a plan so that you have a direction for your business and a clear idea of how you’ll get there.
It is first important to know where you see your business in 5 years. A lot of us think it’s a waste of time to think about our business goals and skip this step. But without a clear objective, you, as an entrepreneur, will have no idea whether your work is doing your business any good.
Set objectives. How much of the market would you like to cover? How much revenue would you want your business to make? What sort of clients do you see yourself having? These goals may change later, but having some direction is key to building a business.
Define your customer
As an entrepreneur, you probably know that you need to be the business’s biggest salesperson. Defining your customer early on will help you craft a marketing strategy for when you need to reach them. You do not need to go to an agency, as you can probably do this yourself with a little market research. Ultimately, you must know your customer base better than anyone else.
Do research on the industry and who the major players are. What sets you apart from them? What will convince customers to buy from you versus the established players? You can’t expect to achieve success by doing what someone else is already doing. They have spent the time building a reputation for themselves. So, their reputation will wipe out any possibility of a market for you if you do not differentiate yourself.
Can you do something faster, cheaper, or better? Is there a niche that you specialise in? Figure out what makes you different and amplify that. You’ll have a better idea of what you can offer once you do a competitive analysis of what the competition is doing.
Prepare a budget
Many people are uncomfortable with numbers. As a business owner, it’s better to get rid of that feeling early on. You will have to have discussions about money every single day. The quicker you learn about it, the better.
Your business performance is closely tied with its financial health, and this depends on your ability to budget well. Consider all your financial requirements: your equipment, payroll, legal costs, inventory, and any property. Err on the side of prudence: A little extra cash never hurt any business.
Sales and marketing
This section of your business plan should detail how you plan to reach your customers, where you plan to reach them, and what your message should be. Your definition of your dream buyer and competitive analysis will come in handy here.
Check out the legal registrations and requirements, including taxes, that will be relevant to your business. You should focus your energy on making your business grow, and not on legal battles. So, the quicker you get them out of the way, the better.
Your might be required to get business insurance to start your operations. To know more about business insurance for your start-up, you might want to check out this website.
A useful tool to plan for your start-up business is a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis. Detail out each of these categories for your business. You will then have a holistic picture of what you need to overcome and what you can leverage to grow your business.
With these tips, you’re well on your way to having a concrete plan in place for your start-up business. Having a plan in place amplifies your chances for success as a business.
*As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. The information contained on this web page is general only and should not be relied upon as advice.