What is a business plan? What is it good for? And how do I make one?
Although some may believe the business plan has to be this 50 page giant explaining every minute detail from the business name to the colour of ceiling tiles, plans for your business these days are much more succinct. It is a summary. A story. Something to say; this is what I have, this is why people want it and this is how they will buy it. The rest of the details, while still important, are the moving pieces of your business puzzle. The business story let’s call it, is more about the goal of the business and how you are going to get there.
Yes, a business story may be required when applying for financing, grants and even during lease agreements, but it can be so much more than that. For the entrepreneurial spirit, it may feel counterintuitive to sit down and write, but if you take the time it can be a roadmap for your business. A tool to keep you accountable to your intentions. And oftentimes, an inspiration when your business faces challenges.
Having your story written down allows you to really articulate your purpose and share it with others. Gaining feedback from trusted and knowledgeable people can easily be generated when there is a tangible plan. This type of outside support can be extremely valuable for any entrepreneur.
Here is a list of some important pieces to include and what questions you are really answering for each:
1. Description of Your Business
- What is your product of service and why are you passionate about it?
2. Your Market
- Who are your customers and why do they want your product or service
3. Your Competition
- Who are you up against and how do you differ or how are you better?
4. Plan for your Sales & Marketing
- How will you reach your customers and get them excited about your product or service?
5. Operating Plan
- What will your day-to-day business look like and how will all the important things get done?
6. Human Resource Plan
- Who are you employees and how do you plan to train and retain them?
7. Financial Information (historical & projected)
- Are you financially successful and where do you see the financial success of your business going in the future?
In upcoming posts, we will delve into each of these steps and I will share with you some strategies for tackling each piece.
Looking for support with starting or revising your business story? Our team is here to help!
"A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow." - George S. Patton
Hollie Peterson, Small Business Development Officer
Looking for support in setting up these tools? The team at L&A Economic Development can help!
Call us today at 613-354-4883.
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