Writing a business plan should be the first thing we do and we may even need to do this before we obtain fund or choose name for our company. Unfortunately, many business owners try to take an easy path by asking others, such as employees and consultants to write the business plan. However, we could create a crisp business only by creating it on our own. We will be able to develop a deeper understanding of what’s needed to succeed in the business. Business founders should be the sole author of the plan, although outside helps could be needed to validate and fine tune it. Business founders and owners have the responsibility of charting and navigating the course of the business. The plan should be an extension of their personal visions. Entrepreneurs should call the shots and have the ability to lead the way. These are essential factors if we want to achieve success in the industry. It is the time to be a leader and only leaders who know how to formulate and implement effective plans. If we ask others to build the business plan and all the ideas in it aren’t even our own, then we will be less motivated.
The act of creating and writing plan may require a forced discipline. We should be able to solve challenges and reconcile results. We may need to throw away some of the early drafts, but we should have an idea of what we should do and this will increase our self confidence. We would be more assured about where our business should be headed. There are online resources that provide us with basic structure and template for business plans. We can expand them based on our requirements and we will be forced to think through all the essential aspects of our business. This should be an important iterative process that we need to repeat. It could be necessary to fine-tune and rewrite our drafts. Even after we have launched our business, we could still go back and edit our plan, if we think that it doesn’t work too smoothly. The idea is that we should develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between all aspects of our business. There are many pointers that we could choose to help us create an effective business plan. Here are some questions that can help us create a plan:
- Who will our customers will be?
- What problems and issues will we solve for our customers?
- How much are customers willing to pay to have their problems solved?
- What are costs and overheads associated with each product sold?
- Why will customers choose our products?
- How will we find customers?
- Who will market, sell, produce and deliver our products?
- Which markets should I go after?
- How much will it cost to run our business in a month?
- What will our breakeven point will be?
- How fast can we achieve breakeven point?
- How much initial capital will I need?
- We could also look for other questions to help us improve our business plan