As a business student one of the most important things I learned to do was write a good Business Plan. This might seem like something that is obvious but you would be surprised by how many people never create one. I have to say that this is one of the silliest things I have heard of. It is like the equivalent of an engineer going out to a job site to build a skyscraper but not having an architect draw up any plans. You are probably going to run into many issues and problems along the way if you don’t have a plan that leads you guides your steps. Without a plan you are not going to get very far, or even worse, get ahead of yourself and fall flat because you took on more than you could handle. Don’t make this mistake. If you are taking your business seriously then you need to have an idea of what you want to accomplish. Does this mean that plans cannot change? Of course not, but having a plan in the first place gives you the direction you need to go and as you move forward and grow make changes as needed.
A business plan is both financial and goal oriented. Every business needs a financial plan. Are you investing capital in your business? Are you taking out a loan? Will you solicit a business partner? How much do you need to start out or if you are purchasing an existing business, how much does it cost to purchase? What assets will you need to purchase? How much will your expenses be each month? How much do you anticipate you will earn each month in your first year? Do you have enough capital to make up the difference when you fall short? These are all extremely important question to ask your-self. I highly recommend you have a financing professional or a mentor in the field that can help you make realistic estimates of what your expense will really be. In addition to the financial questions you should also ask yourself what your business goals will be realistically. How will you gain new clients? What is your marketing strategy? Do you need to have employees? Do you have the tools you need to provide your service or product? If not, where will you get them? How much will they cost? How many hours will you dedicate a week to your new business? What is your target market? What is your niche? How will you “get them in the door” or in other words, get people to be interested in what you have to offer? Again, if you do not have a plan then you are just spinning your wheels and you will go nowhere.
Be smart, write down a plan both financial and your business goals. Get a good accountant or consultant to help you stay on track and post your goals in a place where you will be able to view them on a regular basis. Having a strong bookkeeping service can make this easy to do. Don’t be too complicated at first, just have the basics and you will make adjustments along the way. You are on the start of your very exciting but challenging journey of YOUR BUSINESS! Go for it!