What you should know about putting together a business plan
If there’s one thing we’ve all got at the moment, it’s time. You don’t have to use this time to be more productive than you have ever been – we’re all going through collective trauma, and we’ll all handle it differently. However, if you’ve been using this time to think about your future, you may be thinking of starting a business.
Starting a business is hard work, but there’s absolutely no reason that you can’t do it with the sheer number of resources out there today.
Once you’ve decided that you want to start a business, your next port of call should be to create a business plan. A business plan can help to drive you forward when you need motivation and inspiration. It can even help you to secure funding should you need it! Here’s a few tips to get you started.
Know your purpose
The first thing you need to know is your purpose. Everything you do from this point onward will be based on this. Who do you want to help and why? What is the core reason for doing what you are doing? Making money is key is critical to business success, but most successful businesses have a really strong ‘why’ behind them. Make sure you find yours and you’ll provide real value to your customers.
Presenting your business plan
Knowing how to present your business plan is key. Good news, though – you can present it pretty much any way you like. Your business plan can be written as a document or designed as a slideshow, such as a PowerPoint presentation. You might like to create both, depending on who you plan to show it to.
If you’re looking for ideas on how to lay it out and what to include, a quick internet search will locate lots of templates to inspire you.
How detailed should my plan be?
Getting the right amount of detail in your plan is important. You don’t want to drone on for pages and pages, as people will become bored, although a one pager may seem agile but how much would a potential investor be able to glean about your business. It should have just the right amount of detail to ensure its credible and the most important facts about your business stand out.
Identify your target market
Knowing your target market is crucial. Do your research, consider setting up focus groups. Everything you do should be with a view to relate to them and make them interested in the service or product you are providing. You’ll then be able to design your brand, brand voice, and more based around your target audience.
How will you proposition customers?
Knowing how to proposition potential consumers and get them working with you is also a must – it may not be enough to simply know who you’re talking to. A proposal template can be a very useful way of getting this right in the beginning.
Don’t forget your competitor research! This will inform many of the choices you make, from where you do business to your pricing.