Whether you are funding your own company, or will be using the plan to attract potential backers, having a well-defined plan will make the difference in the early days.
Before launching any new start-up business, it is important to have a plan of action. Business plans, while they may seem difficult to write, are vital as they allow you to document crucial information about your product, market and competitors. Whether you are funding your own company, or will be using the plan to attract potential backers, having a well-defined plan will make the difference in the early days. Below are three handy tips to help you compile the perfect plan:
1: Split it
A business plan can often include pages upon pages of information about a proposed idea. While you may wish to be as detailed as physically possible to demonstrate different aspects of your idea, this can be confusing. Whether you are showing the plan to a potential backer, or just using it yourself to keep your business on-track, it is important for the plan to be easy to read and organised.
This means that it could be worthwhile splitting your plan into different sections. One simple way of doing this is to use these three headings:
Three different sections may not seem like much, however just by narrowing your business plan down to three specific areas, it becomes much easier to read and understand. You can then work on splitting these three sections into further subheadings, and as the more your plan goes, the more organised and professional it will appear.
2: Consider new methods
The internet is constantly updating, and due to this there are new platforms to advertise your product available each day. While traditional small business advertising was done locally via flyers and adverts, with social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter, advertising on a mass scale became free. Most businesses now have social media accounts and social media websites are using this to their advantage: such as Facebook only showing posts to a small percentage of followers unless a paid advert is ‘boosted’.
Start-up companies often have a limited budget, and struggle to find enough funding to get their brand recognised. However there are other mediums which any small business should consider, rather than sticking to the ‘big two’ of social media. Apps such as Snapchat, which have a huge following in the younger market, are now being used for companies to send advertising directly to the pockets of their potential markets. Similarly, fashion and clothing brands are jumping to use Instagram, which can be used to market their clothes to a waiting audience.
3: Update it
Whilst writing your plan before launching your business, you will be working on assumptions regarding different aspects of business. Whilst you can and should carry out lots of research into your target market, financial plans and competitors, you may find that your actual results differ wildly from what you first imagined.
There is no point sticking to your guns and hoping for the best in business, if a method which you fully researched isn’t working for you then it is time to review your business plan and make changes. Keeping your plan up-to-date by recording instances which differ from your initial predictions, whether successful or not, helps to keep your plan relevant to your business.