Creating A Great Business Plan

idea-plan-strategy-successCreating a business plan should be your first step to starting a business. It is your blueprint for success.

A business plan will help you make a concrete plan for your money, what your budget will be and where your money will go. Just plan it all out and then follow your plan into profit.

It will give you a flow chart of all aspects of your business from marketing to accounting, so that all your bases are covered.

It will define your target market and your marketing plan. Your business plan will also document your goals and outline your plans to attain them. Just make it happen.

So, after all that, how do you begin writing a business plan? Here are some fundamental things to think about when you start your planning. Not all will apply depending on the type of business you want to start.

1. Your business description. Begin writing a letter to someone, maybe your mom or a friend, about your business. What would you tell them you do? How would you describe it? Once you get your letter written, if it is longer than a paragraph, narrow it down. Keep working on your business description until you can succinctly tell someone in 30 seconds exactly what your business does.

2. Your employee/management plan. When many people start out in business, they’re a one person operation. That’s perfectly acceptable. Write down exactly what your job responsibilities will be. As you’re making that list, take note on the responsibilities that you feel aren’t your strong points.

For some it may be copywriting, for others it may be accounting tasks. Separate these tasks from the list as potential future employees or contract employees. Once you’ve reached a certain level of success, it may make sense to hire someone to handle the tasks that you either don’t like or aren’t as skilled in, so that you can focus on your strengths.

3. Legal structure and other legal considerations. What legal structure will you have for your business? For example, sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or limited liability company? What type of business licenses do you need to legally operate your business? What are your insurance needs? Include insurance on physical buildings, errors and omissions insurance for consulting and coaching businesses, liability, homeowners, health etc. How will you keep a record of your expenses for tax reporting?

4. Products/Services. Here is where you will plan your initial products or services offerings. For example, if you are opening a business as a bookkeeper, then how will you charge? How will you receive payment? Will you offer multiple services like bookkeeping, payroll services and collections?

5. Business Operations. How is your business going to function? Do you need a computer? A website? What will your hours of operation be? What are your financial goals? What are your expenses? List each aspect of your business operations, goals, and needs, and then go into as much detail as possible.

6. Budget Projected Sales Revenues, and Marketing Plans. Start this section by detailing your target market. Next, describe how you plan on reaching these people and selling your products or services. There are many options here and tons of information about marketing tools you can use right here on the Internet Based Moms website. You may also want to detail how much of your time you plan on spending on marketing related tasks each day, week or month.

7. Budget Projected Expenses. How much money are you starting with? What do you need to buy? A detailed budget is essential for success.

That’s it. You’re business plan is for the most part complete. For ease of use you can create an executive summary, which will contain a brief summary paragraph about the seven sections you’ve just detailed.

Use your business plan to keep your business on track. As you reach your goals or your goals change, take the time to revise your plan. This can be something that you do every month, every six months or annually – it’s up to you.

After all, it is YOUR BUSINESS!

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