It doesn’t matter whether you are planning to open an eatery, whether you are looking to set up a bespoke jewelry design business or whether you want to be an eBay entrepreneur, you need to hone a detailed business plan. A business plan shouldn’t be a document that looks pristine and is created solely for the purpose of storing it away in a filing cabinet never to be seen again. Instead, you need a well thumbed working document that becomes your bible. A decent business plan should be the backbone of your business, helping you to hone the aims of your new venture, allowing you to hit the ground running come launch day.
The best business plans are tools that allow startups to thrive. You may be wondering how to structure your business plan, and the sorts of things you need to refer to in it. Take a look at these business plan essentials that every entrepreneur should be aware of.
The chances are that your new venture will need an element of funding. You could choose to head to your local bank manager in an effort to secure a professional loan. This is more difficult than it used to be as the economic climate has become more volatile. Your business plan could be the thing that makes an individual approve your loan. Your business plan needs to forecast your potential revenue and profits for at least the next three years. This shouldn’t be a guess. Instead, it needs to be a well-researched set of figures that you have come up with as a result of market research.
Ensure that you know your gross from your net and be prepared to be questioned over the validity of your findings. You need to ensure that you are suited and booted, and can enthuse any potential investor with your grasp of finances. Don’t think that the bank is your only source of funding. You might choose to pitch to a business angel instead. These business gurus are specialists within their industries and need to be certain that their hard-earned cash will make them a return. Impress them with your pitch and business plan and you could have not only a monetary investment but also a bright business mind in your corner.
You could also try the very postmodern funding route of crowdfunding. By pitching your business online, you can tap a number of niche investor markets across the world. This can give your brand a more global presence and result in hundreds, if not thousands, of amateur micro investors spreading the word about your new startup.
If you are not that au fait with all things Internet related, it might be time to explore your online presence within your business plan. If you are seeking to outsource your web design and development, you will need to demonstrate how you can fund this within your business plan. A document like this is the perfect way to track your expenditure and ensure that your cash flow is still buoyant.
As an online entity, you need to appear high up in the Google search results. Unless you are adept at keywords and meta tags, you won’t understand how to hone your website to produce results. You need to maximize traffic and convert hits into sales. An external team of developers and specialists can help you achieve this. Using your business plan, you can formulate and online digital strategy that can see your brand going global. You need maximum exposure to get people talking about your products, your services and your company.
Social media is the millennial’s communication method of choice. This means that you need to tap this market via your Twitter feed, Instagram page and Facebook account. Respond in a timely manner to comments and consider how best to post meaningful and relevant content on a regular basis. As a newbie entrepreneur, you may be busy with other tasks, and let your social media presence slip. In this case, outsource to a freelance social media manager to look after your company’s online accounts. This way, you are free to concentrate on other pressing issues.
Being an entrepreneur is one of the toughest jobs in the world. There will be times that you wonder why on Earth you resigned from your full time employed job, but just remember your passion and enthusiasm for what you now do. Follow this guide and your business plan will help your new venture succeed.