Here are some fundamentals of preparing an effective business plan for your small business.
Specify the Goals and Mission of Your Business
You should first specify the reason that you want to start the business. You should also specify your goals – in the short term and the long term.
Set a time limit and define the goals that you will have achieved up to a specific date. An important calculation that you need to make is the date that you foresee your small business breaking even.
Write down your plans to exploit all the opportunities that you feel are present in the market.
You should put in writing all possible threats that you feel have the potential to create obstacles in your path to success. Against each threat, you should also specify the action that you feel will eliminate or at least minimize it.
By making such a plan, you will be ready to face each threat with a solution. These threats may not only be from your competitors, but also from disgruntled employees that may, through their actions, let you and your business down.
If you have any business secrets that need to be protected, then make plans to protect them in advance.
Have a ‘Plan B’ Ready
Even though you will probably have all guns firing to achieve your business goals, there may be unforeseen circumstances that will conspire to force you to abandon your predetermined path.
This could be a death in the family, an accident or any other adverse situation. In such a case, you will need to devise another plan that will enable you to keep the business going with limited options.
Not having an alternate plan could make any unexpected blow to your business a fatal one.
Specify Your Product Range and Marketing Plan
You will need to provide an outline of the products and services that you plan to offer to potential customers.
Along with that, you will also need to layout your marketing plan in order to let your target audience know that your small business is actively present in the market.
You also need to specify how you plan to deal with the present competition, and new competitors that might enter into the market after your small business does.
This part of the plan will provide the lifeline for your company. Specify how you plan to arrange for the money necessary to start your small business.
More importantly, keep a plan ready that specifies how you will arrange for additional financing until you break even. You should also make plans for an emergency injection of funds, so that you do not panic if a temporary crisis arises.
If you plan to take out a business loan, then write down how you plan to repay it.
Your business plan should also include sections that you can post in a visible place in your office. This will enable your employees to be aware of what your business goals are, and their role in the plan.
By following these fundamentals, you will ensure that your small business starts off on a solid foundation.