If you’re looking to start a business of any kind, its crucial that you create a business plan of some sort to navigate and stay on course through your Self Starter journey.
Writing a business plan may seem like a daunting task (certainly is for me!) but by just getting started and keeping it simple to begin with, is a great way to get the ball rolling and stop the procrastination.
There are quite a few great blogs and resources online that give a good breakdown of how to structure and put together your plan. To keep things simple, however, you need to focus on three main areas to get you started;
1. What is it – What are you selling, what industry does it fall into, location, premises (if bricks and mortar), staff where applicable, how is your business set up and why your product/service will succeed.
2. Who are your customers – Start to profile your potential customer. Who are they, where are they located and any particular habits or similar interests that cross over to your product/service. Also look at your competition, establish who the main competitors are and why you think you will have the edge over them. Plenty of great brainstorming opportunities with this one!
3. What’s the money situation look like – How are you going to finance your business. What are you going to start with. Income, expenses, cash flow, projected earnings, etc. For more information, the Australian Government has some good suggestions of what you could include in this area here.
4. The Future – What are your goals? Where do you hope you’ll be after 6 months, 12 months, 5 years and so on. Any mission statements regarding your long term vision will help here. Creating some great future goals will help you embrace the long term mentality.
This is just to get you started and does not cover everything! For more information, check out the below links to see some more in-depth support with creating your plan.
Business Plans for Dummies Cheat Sheet at Dummies
An Introduction to Business Plans at Entreprenuer
How to Write a Business Plan at Commonwealth Bank
How to Write a Business Plan at Australian Government’s Business.gov.au
Just remember, start simple and build as you go. Before you know it you’ll have a great detailed business plan that will assist not only you and those that work with you in your business, but will also help save time when looking at external support such as bank loans or investors.
If you’re looking for a good example of why a business plan is critical, have a listen to episode 5 of the Self Starter Podcast with Berry Mountain Cycles. Owner, Paul Traynor notes that a business plan was mandatory in order for them to successfully acquire a loan from their bank. A great story and well worth listening in if you want some reassurance.
How did you approach your business plan? Did you get help or lean on someone else with experience? Did you just wing it? I’d love to know your stories in the comments!