Creating a New Business Plan: A Guide for New Entrepreneurs

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( — July 12, 2021) — It is not unusual to realize your current financial or personal circumstances call for a career reinvention. The massive amount of low-wage positions with insufficient benefits currently available has sent many job seekers into exploring entrepreneurial options. Encouragement to make a lifelong dream come to life could bring about the work/life balance you are seeking. Let this be the nudge you need to grow that precious seed of a business idea. The satisfying side project that you have often revisited could have a real opportunity to blossom into a lucrative source of income. What better time than the present when everything seems to be in a state of flux? 

Well done on being brave enough to explore all the possibilities. But before that seedling idea becomes a briar patch of concerns, you can take steps to prepare for a variety of situations. Your startup concept deserves an environment that allows for continued growth. Every great undertaking deserves a thorough plan and the best tools to execute it. This brief guide will provide a few tips to get the most out of your planning stage

The Lean Startup Plan

A concise, single-page outline is a great method to explain what your business seeks to accomplish and address some typical initial startup needs. Collecting your thoughts at an early stage may avoid some problems getting motivated. A written structure to what may be abstract ideas can be the foundation that some small businesses lack. Some items to consider in planning your startup are: 

  • Who is waiting for your product to improve their life or business, and how will they learn about your brand? What audience will see the value in what you have to offer? How can you reach them all effectively?  
  • What financial resources do you require to get started, or to sustain your business? Researching small business assistance provided by the government is always an option. Utilize opportunities to borrow money for your startups and work paying back those funds into your business model. It takes money to make money.
  • When is the best time to get your product or service to the public to optimize visibility, demand, and profitability?
  • Where will you find help to get the work done to get your product to the public? Do you need employees or partnerships in the initial stages, or is a solo operation sufficient? If you hire employees, ensure that they are a good fit in your overall plan. 
  • Why is your brand going to be the one to select over any other competitors, and how is your product the best choice for the public? How can you innovate what already exists in your industry? 

The Traditional Business Plan

You may have all this initial exploration well underway. It is natural to need more details and an incentive to ask yourself the right questions before moving forward for your own peace of mind. It is likely that your potential lender needs further information to assist in your acquisition of some much-needed funding. This is a refining process as well as evidence of growth, pruning, and shaping your young business. Let us build upon the solid outline you have already created:

  • What is your startup’s mission statement? This is not just about you, of course. Confidently declare the essence of how this company can and will improve life for everyone involved.
  • Summarize what exactly your company can do and how your startup will succeed. What issues will your brand address for customers? Who exactly are these individuals and their needs? Will other businesses orbit your own as clients or suppliers?
  • Describe your team dynamic and flesh out who your employees and their leaders are. Details about individual employees in leadership could be useful here. What credentials are you looking for in your ideal team? 
  • Location can be a key element. How does your current placement affect your overall success? Does remote work take an active role in your business model? Are there foreseeable issues with supplies regarding where your production and/or storefront currently are? 
  • How do your online marketing and storefront integrate with or take precedence over their physical counterparts?  
  • Consider your costs and the ultimate worth of your products and services. Explore what your competition is charging for similar items and determine what prices you can fairly require and still accomplish your goals and profit. 
  • How healthy do the overall market and trends look for what you want to provide? What are your competitors doing right or wrong, and how can you improve upon the existing models? 
  • Legalities such as business structure, patents, copyrights, and potential IP should be addressed. Are you the sole proprietor or is it a partnership? This may require the expert advice of those familiar with the subject. 
  • Marketing strategies are vital to your startup’s long-term success. What are you willing to do to gain a loyal customer that will potentially suggest your product or services to others? A healthy understanding of your chosen industry will go a long way. 
  • How can you best give back to those who have helped you succeed at this point in time? Continued goodwill and maintained relationships bolster brand loyalty. 
  • The bottom line is what does it all cost, and how much will everyone involved be making? Keep your debt-to-income ratio reasonable. Quality financial planning can potentially keep your stress manageable and your profits substantial. 

A startup seeking funding will require that these questions and more are answered, but do not let the need for all that information be a deterrent. Both sides of this situation deserve to have a clear idea of risk and reward. A successful startup knows where its money is allocated, and a lender deserves to feel secure in providing funds.  

Along those lines, being able to project future financial success can bolster your own confidence as well as that of your lender. Taking note of trends and software like profitability modeling software, and current markets can show you where to invest effort and funds to grow your business. Tracking all income and output details and adding a forecast to these numbers keeps everyone grounded and informed on where to improve.

The growth of a business depends on a variety of factors. The more ways a situation can go wrong, or right, can add responsibility and stress for anyone involved. It is important to try and keep things as simple and streamlined as possible, and delegation of tasks can be key to that growth. Efficient workflow solutions can make all the difference, particularly when adding employees and partnerships into the mix. If there are products and services that can make these relationships easier, it makes sense to utilize that help. Monday project management is a great way to compile all of your various responsibilities seamlessly into one platform that’s easily shareable with your team.

Change is inevitable, and it was a desire for positive change and growth which brought you to this point in your life. As your business continues to grow, embrace these changes and be willing to innovate as your situation demands. Do not let your public forget about your brand and do not allow your brand to become forgettable. Continuing to build upon and refine the business plan you have drafted with this guide can lead to the success you seek.