Chapter 6: Developing a Business Plan
Now you are getting closer, you can identify the type of business, why you are going into business, your strengths, areas you need assistance in and your opportunities. Now it is time to get down to the Nitti gritty and write the necessary plan.
If you don’t like this part, possibly you can sit with someone and they can ask you questions to get this on paper.
A plan not written is just an idea…
According to SCORE, www.score.org
Businesses fail for many reasons. The top eight reasons are below.
Lack of a well-developed business plan 78%
- Not pricing properly 77%
- Being overly optimistic – sales, money 73%
- Not recognizing, or ignoring, what they don’t do well and not seeking help from those who do 70%
- Ineffective prioritization 66%
- Denying problems exist 65%
- Minimizing the importance of marketing 64%
- Insufficient business experience 63%
Note, not having a business plan is the single biggest reason a small business fails and it predicates all the other reasons why a business fails!
Without a strong Business Plan you (r);
1. Can not cultivate sales
2. Can not develop people skills
3. Small business marketing suffers
4. Can not build valuable teams.
5. Not reaching out for help – especially business coaching
A business plan has four primary objectives:
1. Describes what you do and why others will buy from you and your company.
2. identifies the markets, companies, people, etc who can buy from you and how to get in touch with them
3 .Identifies the blue print to making money, where you need to spend your money (i.e., marketing, Internet, computers, fax, telephones, etc)
4. Identifies weaknesses where you should be looking for assistance or areas to you need to attend to
A business plan is essential. Would you build a house without blueprints, or row a boat without oars? So why would you start or run a business without a plan?
The bizarre element is that if you don’t know how to do a business plan you need to ask for help. Number four above, really should be number one. By addressing your weaknesses you are able to identify the areas where you need to ask for help.
A business plan, can vary in length depending on your main objective. It will be more in depth if you are seeking venture capitalists or angels.
By going through the exercise of writing a business plan you will be enlightened about what you do and don't know than by any other exercise.
A business plan is a existing document that will change as you and your business change and develop.
Look over the following 7 questions they will help you to get motivated in writing your business plan.
1. Why are you in business? Are you really passionate about your business, enough so that during some not good times you will be able to stay focused and positive?
2. What are you selling? What solutions does your product or service provide for your target market?
3. What is that one thing that you do better than anyone else in your market? It could be as simple as offering free
4. Why would your niche market care about what you do? Move out of yourself and see if from the side of your client, and ask yourself “what’s in it for me?”
5. Why would your clients prefer to buy from you? Even if you are the best, will people buy form you and if so why?
6. How much money do you need to get started? Be realistic, it is better to overestimate than to underestimate.
7. Do you have enough capital to carry you to profit? How long will it take to see a profit?
The only answer you really need immediately is to question #1
The answers to these questions will adjust as you grow as business owner and as you become more proficient in your marketing, your niche, your products, your clients and your services.
It is really imperative to do your research, ask your potential clients call your competitors, do a thorough investigation. If you do a thorough job in the beginning you will be better prepared and more successful.
Now I bet you thought I was going to give you the template.. Guess again..
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