Whether you’re starting a small business or looking for ways to grow an existing business, a business plan is an important tool for making decisions. Think of it as a path to success and get more clarity on every aspect of your business, from marketing and finance to operations and product/service details.
While some homeowners may be tempted to switch directly to start-up mode, writing a business plan is a crucial first step for aspiring entrepreneurs to test the viability of a business before investing too much time or money. ‘money. The purpose of a business plan is to develop a strategy to start your business. You will also have an overview of the steps to take to reach your business goals and a schedule of expected results.
For existing small businesses, a business plan should be updated annually to monitor growth and stimulate expansion into new markets. Your plan should include explicit goals for hiring new employees, defining their responsibilities, and identifying how they will help your business succeed and grow.
Providing resources for capital improvements and new resources such as computers, software or cars/trucks is not an easy decision for budget-conscious small business owners. However, a business plan can clarify the purchase or lease process and help determine the optimal amount allocated to these assets. A plan can also help you decide if it is possible to occupy additional offices, businesses or work areas.
Create a marketing roadmap
Marketing and market potential are important aspects of a plan for small, emerging businesses. “I have included the potential audience of all residents in a particular neighborhood,” said Scott Sulzer, who opened the Sandwich Joint Restaurant in downtown Los Angeles in 2009. “My goal was to earn a percentage of all people who lived and worked nearby. ”
Sulzer’s 10-page plan, designed primarily as a marketing tool, covered topics such as target market distribution, marketing strategy, and market penetration. “My business plan focused on market forecasts,” he said. “How are we going to get those people who are increasing our daily sales and how are we going to get them to let us know we are here?”
In addition to a roadmap for progress and a marketing plan, your business plan could also be important to fund. Whether you’re looking for a line of credit from a bank or an influx of capital from investors, a business plan that answers questions about profitability and revenue generation can decide if someone decides to invest or not.
A business plan may also be necessary to retain other professional services such as lawyers, owners, consultants or accountants. Sulzer used his business plan to get a lease.
“I had to have a solid document that they could trust,” said Sulzer, who had hired one of the largest landowners in downtown Los Angeles. “With a business owner, they did not negotiate with me if I did not have a business plan, I had to submit all my information and a plan that showed what I wanted to do: collapses and financial percentages, demographics and how to win customers. ”
To succeed in a small business, it is essential to attract talented people and partners. Part of a business plan is to help bring the right talent, from senior management to talented people, by showing them the direction and growth potential of the company. It can also help protect vendor accounts, especially with proprietary vendors.
Provide a structure
Finally, a business plan can be important for providing structural and management objectives to a small business. It can become a reference tool for maintaining direction on sales targets and operational milestones. Used properly and regularly accessed, it can help you measure and manage what you are working so hard.
Do not forget to consider insurance coverage in your business plan. When the unexpected happens, you want to make sure your small business is covered. Personalized insurance solutions are essential to protecting and maintaining your business. Learn more about how small business insurance can help you build and protect your business, whether you’re a beginner or already established.