In a world full of entrepreneurs, opening a unique, successful business of your own is a bit of a task, but definitely not impossible.
There are plenty of pieces that go into writing out a successful business plan in order to assure that your company can get started with investors or loans and then keeping it at its maximum potential for the future. So, what goes into a successful business plan? Let’s break down what it takes to make it with this business plan anatomy.
- The Idea – If you are already venturing looking into how to write up a business plan, odds are you have the idea for what you want the business to be. So, this is the first part of the anatomy; coming up with an idea that could either revolutionize a certain industry or at least hold its own with the top competitors. Successful ideas are not born over night, so really take the time to think this one through.
- The Research – Now that you know what kind of business you want to start, thorough research must be conducted on multiple facets of that industry. Understand where your target market is; ages, gender, genre, style, etc. Along with understanding your target market, analyzing competitors in the same industry targeting the same market will help this task.
If you have a leg up on the competition or know that you can beat their prices and customer service, this is the time to add it to the plan. Keep in mind that the plan is not just meant to show investors, but can also be used by your business in order to keep track of your ideas and go back to fix mistakes.
- The Finances – This is the perfect chance to break down exactly what costs you will need in order to get the business off the ground and running. Also break down potential profits for the first month, three months, six months and a year. Be realistic about any projections you intend on making as failing to meet an unrealistic expectation will deter your confidence in the business.
- The Overview – The “executive summary” so to speak; giving your goals (short- and long-term) on where you expect your company to be, what you want to provide and how you expect to provide it. This is pretty much a breakdown of what your company is. A simple, but effective, summary will help get investors on your side as well as never letting you forget what your goals are.
- The Location – Having a prime location (or website for a business strictly online) is crucial in determining success. Making sure that there is enough traffic to gain a larger number of customers and clients is what will keep your company surviving and pushing towards the future. Make sure the name, the website, the building or whatever it is that you are planning to sell from is attractive to the customers and draws them in rather than letting them pass with just a glance.
- The Team – Now that you know what you’re going to be doing and how you are going to do it, determine who will help you. Make sure that if there are partners, co-founders, associates or any other people helping with your business that they go in the business plan and that their capabilities are listed along with them. This will give you an idea of who will be controlling what task for your business and what portion of the profits they will be making as well; just remember to keep communication open so everybody knows their tasks.
- The Marketing – The bread and butter of getting your company to reach the full potential of its worth is marketing it to the world using whatever methods you can. Whether it is online marketing, remarketing, advertisements, word of mouth or social media, getting your brand out to the masses is extremely important. Understand that you can make connections in any industry and making a small trade for a marketing spot is helpful.
- The Analyzing – Make sure that you never forget this business plan. This is your business guide and will help you go back to fix mistakes or keep you on track to where you want to go. It is more than a plan to show investors, this is the premise of your business so keep it that way.
Having a successful business plan takes time and effort. Make sure you put the same amount of hard work into this as you will your business.
Featured image (on home page scroller) courtesy of David Armano.