Have a wonderful idea for a new business or brand? One of the hardest things to do is to transfer ideas from your head to the paper, and organize it in a coherent manner. Business plans can be tricky- you want to make them formal enough so that it passes the smell test for potential investors, but you do not want to water down your plan or make your idea less fun and unique while in the process of putting the details together. You want your startup to stand out, but you will need a blueprint to put it together. This is doable- but it will require following a few tips. Here are five tips for putting together a business plan.
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State Your Purpose- the WHY for what you are doing
This is one of the most important parts of any business plan, pitch, or presentation. If you cannot explain why you are going through the effort of trying to start a new business, it is probably not worth doing. Make an elevator pitch- explain why one should be interested in your business in just a few sentences.
2. Understand Your Audience
Who is the intended audience of your business plan? If it is just for yourself, you don’t have to worry about this, but the best business plans will be understandable for a wide range of audiences. This is especially important if you are planning on pitching your business to investors- they are often the target audience for such a business plan, but they are not the only ones. You might want to show it to friends, colleagues, and potential customers- you never know who might be interested. It is therefore best to make your plan readable for a wide range of audiences, and understand what your audiences are looking for.
3. Come Prepared With Market Research and Competitive Analysis
If you want to impress not only potential investors but any readers, it is best to come prepared with some data right off the bat. Do some research into your market or potential markets, and who your competitors may be. You want to make readers of your business plan understand the field you are going into, and what advantages your company will have over the competition. You may have to adapt later and conduct new research, but that is OK. Start with a good idea of what you are going into, and make your audience understand that you have a good idea.
4. Have a Potential Timeline On Hand
Chances are, starting a successful new company won’t happen an instant, it will take hard work over a certain period of time. You aren’t going to know exactly how long things will take, and that is OK, but you should set some goals to start. Try separating your plans into phases; for example, in phase I you will gather a team of workers and create a website, in phase 2 you will open a shop and begin selling your product to customers, and in phase III, you will acquire additional funding and scale up your business.
5. Create Roles for Your New Team
Maybe you will be able to create your business by yourself, and if that is true in your case, all power to you. But there is a decent chance that you will need some help in creating your business; if that is the case, you will want to plan out the roles for your new company as soon as possible. You don’t have to have people on board when you start, you just need to have an idea of what roles are necessary and which tasks they will fulfill.
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Creating a formal business plan alongside a presentation will allow you to turn an idea into a mission, and bring you significantly closer to making your dreams a reality. This blog will be especially helpful for the written part of a plan, if you need tips for the presentation aspect of pitching your business, we have plenty of blogs for that as well and we would be happy to help! Make sure you have a purpose for your new business, and do the research necessary to explain WHY your business is not only important, but doable. We wish you the best of luck!