When it comes to writing your business plan, having everything in order beforehand is crucial. If you don’t know certain aspects of your business inside and out, you will not be able to effectively communicate the benefits of your business to those who will be reading your plan. This article reveals some of the most common areas of your business that need to be in order for a well-informed business plan to be crafted.
Readiness for Launch
You are excited about your business, and of course want to start selling right away. But are you really and fully prepared for your business launch, and how do you know you are ready? Although you might be busy with printing your business cards and designing your website, stop. Put these tasks aside and instead turn your focus to those things which are crucial to a successful business plan.
What kind of market research have you done? Do you know who your target market is, what they like and dislike and how much money they will have to spend on what you’re selling? Is your USP clearly defined? Things like these need to be finalised before doing anything else. Otherwise, you really are shooting in the dark and taking a lot of risks that can negatively affect your bottom line.
Knowing How Many Hats You’ll be Wearing
Understanding all of the roles within the business that you’ll be taking on is another critical component to have in place before you compose your business plan. In addition to being the owner of your business, you’ll also be assuming other roles, from accounting and administration to finance management and HR, to name but a few. Assuming all of these roles means that you will need to have educated yourself about them beforehand. Otherwise, how will you explain them to those who will be reading your plan?
This doesn’t mean that you must pursue a degree in each of the above specialities; rather, it means knowing enough about each role to demonstrate that you are aware of the scope of duties you will be taking on. Yes, this will likely take you out of your comfort zone. But wearing several hats will be an education in itself, and you will be the wiser for it.
Choosing Your Support Sources Carefully
Today’s business landscape is full of places to go to get the advice you need. If you’re a new business owner, the wealth of choice can be very difficult to navigate. Although there are several business models that work well for all ventures, there are a thousand ways to implement them. Here is where you can run into trouble, trying to listen to one expert who tells you to go one way, and then another who tells you to travel in the opposite direction. You can’t possibly take all of the advice that’s out there.
The best solution to finding the right mentor or advisor for you is to do your research. You will find someone who you can trust, and with whom you have a positive rapport. Once you do, stay the course. If something isn’t working for you, look to the process, and not necessarily the advisor before deciding to make a change.
Knowing your Total Costs
Your business is like a puzzle, with many pieces that fit together. However, if you don’t have all the pieces, your picture will be incomplete. This definitely applies to your costs. Before you write your business plan, you need to ensure that you’ve taken all costs into consideration. This means going beyond the pricing of your product to things like ongoing costs for flyer printing, the cost to make your products and also the cost to change up your design in the future if you decide to go a different way with your branding. Having all of these pieces clearly defined beforehand will allow you to present a clear picture in your plan.
It can take time to achieve clarity on all of the above points. However, the reward will be lots of eyes looking at your plan and wanting to read on.