Did you know every business needs a business plan? I’m serious. If you are a business owner or if you are thinking about starting a business and you don’t have a written business plan, it’s time to pump the breaks. In fact, it’s time to slam on the breaks and get a business plan done.
Why Does Every Business Need A Business Plan?
- To Clearly Communicate Your Vision A business plan is a great tool to help you communicate your vision to investors (including family members) in a compelling way. Sometimes it’s really hard as a creative to explain exactly what your plans are. I know.. I’m the type that can envision my project in my head but when it comes to explaining it to someone else… they often look at me like I’m insane! A well-written business plan can help you as a creative communicate your plan with little to no confusion.
- To Keep Your Emotions in Check Running a business is hard work, especially when you are just getting started. You will have times of pure euphoria and other moments of high-level panic and self-doubt. A well written and well-defined business plan will be the tool that keeps you on track when you feel like throwing in the towel.
- To Get Everyone on the Same Page You may be the only person in your company today but chances are at some point you will either hire employees or need others to help you (like family). It’s easy to get everyone on the same page with a business plan. With all of your companies ideals laid out on paper, there’s no room for miscommunication.
- To Understand Your Competitors You’ve probably heard, “Comparison is the thief of Joy” and to an extent it’s true. However, when it comes to running a business comparing your business to your competitors is a must. Knowing your competition’s strengths and weaknesses will keep you and your business competitive. Read more about understanding your competitors here.
- To Identify Your Target Market and Customer Knowing your target market and customer is one of the key elements of a successful business owner. Using a business plan will help you get a really clear idea of who you are marketing to and everything you do will revolve around those people! When you know exactly who you are selling to, your job will be a lot easier!
- To Have a Clear Plan Do you get distracted much? When working online it’s almost guaranteed that you are going to get distracted because you have to spend time on social media, researching other business and marketing. A business plan will create a clear path for your business and help you stay on track long term.
Now that you know why your business needs a well-written business plan let’s talk about what a business plan should include.
How to Write A Business Plan
- Business Details- Your business details will include your company’s address, P.O. Box, business structure, assets, and shareholders. It will also identify the employment positions, and any intellectual property rights your company owns.
- Executive Summary- Your executive summary will cover your company’s background, vision, mission statement, growth, and what makes your business unique. It will also cover details on your brand’s culture, the products and/or services your company offers and lastly your company’s goals.
- Business Description- This is where you will describe your ideal and non-ideal customer. Plus you will also record the needs of your customers. Lastly, you will develop a plan for customer retention and satisfaction.
- S.W.O.T Analysis- Don’t let the acronym scare you. It’s actually one of the easier sections to fill out. You will identify your company’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
- Competitor Analysis- Your business plan is the place where you are going to identify and describe your competitors and find out their strengths and weaknesses. This will help you know how to leverage certain aspects of your business to do better than those you are competing against.
- Products and Services- I’m a firm believer that in order to succeed in business you should already have a pretty good idea about what products and services you are going to offer. If you are a blogger this applies to you as well.
- Marketing Strategy- Your business plan will be a great place to identify the key elements of your marketing strategy, how much time you plan to invest in marketing and what your plan is for growth.
You Know You Need a Business Plan, so What’s Next?
I think by now I’ve convinced you of the importance of having a business plan. But I know it feels like a huge task to tackle. Are you asking yourself, Where do I find a business plan? or How do I know how to fill a business plan out? I know for years I searched and searched for the perfect plan but you don’t have to!
I have created the perfect business plan for you and a short step-by-step guide to help you complete the entire plan. You can download the entire book by entering your information below in the form below.
It’s time to make your business legit. Take action, print out your business plan today!
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