Every entrepreneur needs a business plan including those that are just a one man show. Business plans for entrepreneurs are a valuable tool, it helps with finding capital, put together a strategy for growth and measure how much progress you’re making on reaching your goals. Before you get your business cards printed or get your website set up, you create your business plan first. Here is a video showing you how to setup your business plan.
Here are the three biggest reasons you need to get your business plan set up.
There are plenty of guides on how to create a business plan and much of that literature focuses on creating a business plan so that you can raise capital. There is no bank in the world that will give you a business loan without having a comprehensive business plan. It needs to be well written, with your expenses and sales expectations clearly outlined. Your business plan needs to be written in a way that capital investors understand. How much money you want and where you plan on putting it along with what they expect in terms of a financial return.
Outlining a Strategy
If the business has multiple partners all of you may have different ideas about how to move forward in making your business a success. Forcing yourselves to sit down and put together a concrete strategy ensures that all of you are on the same page. Putting together a strategy forces you to do things like market research and sales planning. Having a written strategy with concrete goals means outlining what you want to accomplish in a month, 6 months, 1 year and 5 years. You need to make concrete and achievable goals. Where responsibilities will be allocated and who will be doing what.
Make sure to include Digital Marketing in your strategy. Online Marketing can make or break a business. For example, some businesses make tens of millions of dollars per year off of a single website with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Whole business models can center around Social Media Marketing.
Don’t neglect your Offline Marketing at the same time — especially if you’re a brick and mortar store. You will need a top notch business sign to attract attention. You may also need to do network marketing or direct mail marketing.
Once you have your business plan in place and you start implementing your strategies over the first months and years that you are in business. Your business plan is there to serve as both a guide and a tool to measure your progress. You can measure your results up against what you projected in your business plan. The financial statements that you created make this fairly easy. Your initial financial statements should have been created in a spreadsheet and the financial statements from the current time period makes measuring progress easier.
Even micro businesses can benefit from a business plan, entrepreneurs can outline their goals and create the road map that will get them there. As you accomplish your short term goals you can alter your business plan to suit your current business needs.