Small Business Start Ups -Business Plans

We've been asked to address the importance of business plans and why you need one. So here it goes, the ins and outs and some helpful resources.

Let's get crackin'

A lot of people have ideas, and they decide that they are business worthy. Some may be and some not so much. In business, it's whether your idea is ACTUALLY good that matters. For that exact reason, the business plan was created. If you are going to build a business you need to have a plan. Your business plan is there to build your concept and determine how it can actually work both logically, and financially.

A business plan is a document that outlines the components of your business. It address' what your business will promote whether it's a product or service, how your market plan looks and how it compares to your competitors. It also covers some other important factors like; permits you may need, funding that may come into play, financial goals, and projections, along with many other details.

In all other respects, a business plan will help you determine if your idea is business worthy. It is a tool to show you and others what you're made of and how you're going to make this work. Compiled in a stack of papers or a computer file lies the platform for your success, and outlines exactly how you will get there.

Here is a list of the key components your business plan should include:

1. Your Detailed Business Concept
This is where you discuss the industry, your business structure, your particular product or service, and how you plan to make your business a success.

2. Your Strategy
Outline specific actions you plan to take to implement it. What goals do you have for your business? When and how will you reach your goals?

3. Your Products and Services
Define your products and services as well as how they fit in the current marketplace. Here's your chance to entice the readers with good, factual information about your products or services and why customers will want them and not your competitors.

4. The Markets you will Attract
Now you have to lay out your marketing plan, it's time to determine who your customers will be? What is your demographic audience? How will you attract and retain enough customers to make a profit? What methods will you use to capture your audience? What sets your business apart from the competition?

5. Key Players
Having information about your key players is an important part of your business plan. It’s not a long and detailed biography of each person involved but an accurate description of what they've done and what they bring to the table for this specific opportunity.

6. Your Financials
These will be based on your projected financial statements. These statements provide an outline of how your ideas about the company, its markets and its strategies will play out.

It's important to understand that your business plan needs a voice. This voice will not only guide you but help aid in pulling together the right key players for the job. Having outlined and detailed goals is what helps make every successful business thrive.