Owning a small business can be an incredible experience.
Being your own boss has many rewards. Remember the old adage, “Build your home on a strong foundation”? Well this concept also applies to starting your own business. The foundation in this case is a sound business plan. A business plan is an essential roadmap for business success. This living document generally projects 3-5 years ahead and outlines the route a company plans to take to grow revenues and establish itself in the community.
According to Entrepreneur.com there are many good reasons to develop a business plan.
The real value of creating a business plan is not in having the finished product in hand rather, the value lies in the process of researching and thinking about your business in a systematic way. The act of planning helps you to think things through thoroughly, study and research if you are not sure of the facts, and look at your ideas critically.
Here are some of the principle parts of a good business plan:
- Define the company’s purpose, mission, values and goals.
- What products and services will you deliver?
- What will be your business philosophy?
- What is the legal ownership?
- What are your company’s strengths that will help you succeed?
Products and Services
- What are the specific services and products you will provide?
- How will you develop your pricing?
- Who are you clients?
- How will you attract them?
- What will the costs be?
- What are the trends in your industry?
You need to find as part of your team, an accountant, attorney, insurance agent and other key partners. A firm like LUXA can provide a variety of these services including payroll, marketing, HR and more.
- Income level
- Size of businesses
- Describe your top three competitors.
- How are your products and services different?
Here you will need to develop a forecast of revenue and expenses; we would actually recommend using three projection levels: conservative, moderate and aggressive. This forecast should also include all expenses related to your business operations. Most new businesses underestimate expenses and overestimate income.
Here are some very good resources for small business planning: