Image by: JD Hancock
By: George Lamb
So you’ve got your fantastic business idea, you’ve got the funds to open the company, and you’re motivated and ready to get this thing going, right? Not so fast, before you proceed with the upstart, you may want to re-evaluate your business plan so your colleagues, partners and most of all you can see the vision clearly and coherently.
There’s nothing more unproductive than a disorganized business. It’s like trying to build a castle without walls–it won’t stabilize, and if you attempt to jump-start that business without your business plan being clarion, you will see your business get bulldozed faster than a condemned building.
Now, I’m not suggesting you’re some moron who decided to start a business without working out the finest details. In fact, I’m pretty sure you have a great concept about how you’re going to nurse this business to life. But a question you need to ask yourself is, “Do your colleagues know what you know?”
Are your partners fully cognizant of what your goals and aspirations are, as well as your vision for the future? If that is not the case, then you may want to consider breaking out a pen and paper, because its your duty to share your vision with the people around you. But before you start scribbling, here are 6 effective steps to write a business plan.
A business plan is usually kick-started with a short description of what the industry and your colleagues represent is all about. Its a way for you to portray the present outlook as well as the future plans, goals and possibilities. This is essential because any newcomers that get involved will have a clear and collective outlook on what the concept is and will give them a better understanding as to how to properly market and promote the product.
Imagine you were to get hired to a company and they told you barely any details about the goals, intentions or even the purpose behind what they’re doing?
You’d essentially be a number punching drone, nothing more than a worker bee. This isn’t good, people. In order for a business to be successful we need partners to operate it, not employees. The reason is simple: a partner would be more likely to care about his duties, as opposed to said number punching drone just there for the paycheck and health benefits.
One of the most important things to emphasize is how your company is going to spend and receive finances. As some guy I can’t remember the name of once said: Before you proceed with the upstart of a business, you need to have a clear and decisive method as to how your company is going to receive money. This may seem pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised by the amount of great business concept that have failed because of the lack of income.
The logo one establishes is destined to become the face of his company. Your logo should peak the interest of a consumer; it needs to be memorable, reproducible, and must clearly explain who you are as a brand. You know what that means, right? It’s time for you and your crew to invest in a graphic designer that has the ability to absorb the concept of your business and regurgitate an image that suits the company like bread and butter. It may be costly, but if you want to attract customers, it is necessary to emphasize the importance of the logo in your business plan.
#4) Marketing Strategies
A market analysis forces an entrepreneur to become intimately familiar with all aspects of the market so the targeted market can be deciphered amid the multitude of costumers. This is done to ensure the company is put in a position where it is able to garner its share of sales. Not only does this work hand and hand with the logo, but it also is going to be the key factor that brings your business attention. Your partners need to be aware of many different methods to use as marketing or promotion strategies. The more creative the better.
#5) Analysis of Competition
It is important to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors within your market, not only so you can use this knowledge to your advantage and proceed accordingly, but also so barriers can be developed in order to prevent opposing competition from entering your market. Marketing is essentially war on all other brands except your own, and any weaknesses you discover in the opposition can be exploited and used to your advantage. Yea this may sound a bit like cheating, but hey, if you’re not cheating your not trying hard enough. I heard that saying somewhere…
#6) Executive Summary
The executive summary is one of the most important steps to creating a business plan because it gives you–the executive–a chance to clearly state what you want out of your business. Briefly describe in bright, vivid detail why you started the business, what you hope to achieve by starting the business, and what positive effects this business is going to have in your environment.
Have you used a business plan to your advantage and are now living off the fruits of your struggles? Tell us about what you did to lay your concept down so others can see it as clear as you!