Many people erroneously believe that the only reason for having a business plan is to secure outside funding for your startup business. However, your business needs a written business plan even if you’re funding everything yourself, hiring no staff to get started with, and operating as a one-person operation. Having a business plan on paper is just like getting directions before you drive to a city that you’ve never visited before. The Small Business Administration offers several resources for you to consider when deciding what should be included in your business plan. You need to ensure that you have a written plan for how your business is going to start and how it’s going to last.
Before you enter the market, you need to know everything you can about that market. Long before you ever launch your business, whether it be online or a brick and mortar concept, you need to immerse yourself in the industry that you’re trying to get in to. Study market trends and factors that can increase or decrease your business. Figure out how successful companies in your market niche operate and plan accordingly. In all likelihood, you won’t be the first person to start a business in the field that you’re looking at. Study what has worked and what hasn’t and adapt as you need to.
Have a Marketing Strategy
It doesn’t matter how great your company or product is if nobody knows you exist. You can make the best new product on the market, but if the market doesn’t know anything about it, you’ll be out of business in no time. Figure out who you’re going to market to and how you’re going to reach them. Study the metrics as to what your target demographic looks for regarding advertising and plan your methodology accordingly. If you’re targeting millennials, you want to look at social media means. Know your audience and how to reach them.
Define Your “Why”
If your primary reason for starting a business is to make money, you probably won’t last long. Write your business plan to help explain what drives you in your new endeavor. Whether you’re presenting to potential investors or just making your own plans, having a written explanation as to what is going to drive, you will keep you on track for the long haul.