This article will discuss an introduction to the business plan process.
They say the first big step to starting a business is just getting out of bed. So, congratulations, step one complete. Now it is time to turn that big idea, product or concept into a reality. This may seem like a daunting task, but millions of new start-ups and entrepreneurs are born every day and we are here to help you figure out how you can do it.
What is a business plan you ask? It is a written description of your business’s future. It can be used by an entrepreneur to raise capital or even attract new staff to an already existing operation. Bottom line is they are extremely important, so if you follow this step-by-step process you too can have the power to take your brilliant idea and march it to a Fortune 500 status. They all started a business this exact same way and you can too. Even if you have just jotted down some idea on a scrap piece of paper, you have started your business plan. So, let’s get started.
Just like building a house we need to start with a plan. So, what is included? Essentially a business plan describes your business’s goals, the strategies necessary to achieve them, problems that can potentially occur and how to solve them, the organizational structure of your business and the financial needs to finance your business and keep it running until you break even. Sound exciting? it is!
This plan can be broken down into three main sections:
- The business concept (business idea), where you talk about the industry, your business structure, your product or service and how you plan to make the business successful.
- The marketplace plan allows you to describe and analyze potential customers, who and where they are and why they buy. You will also want to discuss what makes your product stand out by describing the competition and how you plan to position yourself to beat them.
- The financial plan where you create income and cash flow statements, the balance sheet and other financial projections and ratios, all ending with a viability check and the pitch to investors or banks.
This all may look intimidating but we here at BIG are at your service. You can download the Business Plan Process – Infographic (pdf) and if you have any questions or need any guidance along the way just reach out.
Join us in Part 2 as we begin discussing the written portion of your business plan.