Launching a business without a plan is like going on a road trip without a map or GPS to guide you. Whatever may be the type of your start-up business, you have to have a business plan in place. Its real value lies in the process of researching and thinking about your business in a systematic way. Another advantage of having a start-up plan is that, you can present it to the investors to give them a clear idea about your business.
Start-up plan is nothing but the “to-do” list of everything to start your business. Once you list out the actions that need to be taken, assign a responsible person for every action and write down the deadline by which it needs to be completed. Any task without a deadline will never get completed.
Review the following steps to write your start-up plan:
- Mission statement – This is your reason for starting your business. Maybe you want to provide a specific service that’s missing in your community. Your mission statement should explain your reasoning in a few clear and effective sentences.
- Your own background and information – Add a section about yourself, mentioning your qualifications and experience.
- Employees’ information – List the names of your employees, if you have already identified them or else you may write the titles, job descriptions, the responsibilities they would be handling etc. You may also include the salaries and benefits you are planning to offer to your staff.
- Market study – This includes the description of market that you are targeting. It includes either the geographical locations or people of particular age groups.
- Competitors – Besides their name and business type, note a brief reasoning as to why each business is considered competition. End with why your business will overcome the competition and be successful.
- Partners – These would be the distributors, vendors and contractors that you may need to hire as part of your business.
- Description of your product/service – Be specific about how you plan on producing or providing the product or service, and how you will deliver it. You will also need to explain the methods you will be using to sell the product or service and what modes of marketing your will implement.
- Financial section – This includes information about your credit status, sources of funds, business expenses and projected sales and profits.
It typically takes several weeks to complete a good plan. Most of that time is spent in research and re-thinking your ideas and assumptions. Be sure to keep detailed notes on your sources of information and on the assumptions underlying your financial data.
If you need any help in launching your business, register at TheGongzuo.com for free. We have mentors and advisors to help you in every single task – from building your start-up plan to market your product/service.