Before you get started on your business plan, let’s talk about some tips that will simplify the entire business planning process. Business plans are both an analysis tool and a planning tool – two components that are essential to starting a new business and successfully developing existing businesses. The goal is to get the business plan completed so you can focus on building your business.
Business plans basically serve several important functions that make them essential for the successful launch of a new business. Not only do they serve as a roadmap to guide you in the initial stages of your business, but also as a way to research market conditions, competitors, and potential pitfalls that you may not be aware of.
Consulting services are in many cases subsidized by the federal government. In the case of consulting by an accredited management consultant, you will receive a subsidy for your company. Thus, in the case of professional management consulting by us, you have only a very small personal contribution.
Business plans should be short and concise. There are 2 simple reasons for this: First, you want your business plan to be read. No one is going to read a 40-page or even 100-page business plan. Sure, you may need supporting documentation and statistics for certain sections, but you can include these items in the appendix so that only people who are actually interested in reading it will read it.
Second, your business plan should be a tool you use to manage and grow your business. Something you’ll use and refine over time. An overly long business plan is a big pain to revise and update – it’s almost guaranteed that an overly long business plan will disappear into a drawer and never be looked at again, let alone revised and adjusted.
Write the business plan in a language that your readership understands. For example, if your company is developing a complex scientific process, but your potential investors are not scientists, you should avoid jargon, specifications, and acronyms that your investors are not familiar with. Instead, accommodate your investors by keeping the explanation of your product simple and direct, using terms that everyone can understand. You can always use the appendix of your business plan to provide full specifications, documentation, statistics, as well as surveys and additional business and market forecasts – if needed.
Should you write your own business plan and start with a small pitch, you can test the viability of your business idea long before you launch. In fact, it’s best to solicit feedback and test different elements of your business model as you draft your business plan – from branding, to vision, to marketing. This method is a bit more involved, but works like having a mentor or partner review different elements of your business plan. Another option may be to conduct surveys from a market research firm and talk directly with your potential customers.
The more elements you review, the better your business plan and business will be in the end. It can also save you from spending days developing a strategy that simply isn’t feasible.
You should know upfront what you want to accomplish with your business. Are you trying to turn a side hustle into a full-time business? Are you trying to expand your team or open an additional location? Once you know what you want to accomplish and have questions like these in mind, you can develop your business plan specifically for those goals.
Now, before you get started, you may not have every milestone or even the specific steps in mind, but that’s the beauty of developing a business plan – it will help you define success metrics, flesh out your goals, and evolve elements of your business to meet specific objectives. To better focus and get started in the first place, all you need is a vision or goals to strive for.
If you just work in a big company, you might think that things would go faster and better if you would implement these tasks and be self-sufficient. That’s a fallacy, because once you’re buying raw materials, writing checks, answering phones, and taking care of everything else personally, you’ll quickly be caught up in reality and realize that you may have misjudged the amount of work involved. Being overly optimistic with time and resources is a common mistake entrepreneurs make. Being realistic is important because it gives your business plan credibility.
Our practical tip on “being realistic about time”:
Did you know that the vast majority of business owners and entrepreneurs are not business experts? They don’t have accounting degrees or MBA’s (Master of Business Administration) – they’re learning as they go, finding more and more tools and acquiring the necessary resources to help them with their problem.
Writing a business plan may seem like a big hurdle, but it doesn’t have to be. You know your business – you’re the expert on it. For that reason alone, writing a business plan and then using your plan to grow it won’t be nearly as difficult as you think.
And if you do need help writing a professional and bankable business plan, we, the consultants at Unternehmens-Werk, will be happy to help you with all your questions – Contact.