a Usable Business Plan
your idea into writing. It is important to take the ideas in your head and get
them down on paper. Most successful businesses offer a new product or service
or fill an existing niche in the market. Whatever your reasons may be for
starting a small business, make sure to clearly and concisely put them in
can be helpful to go through many drafts or iterations of your business plan.
as many details as you can in your business plan. Overthinking the details is
never as damaging as ignoring the details.
can also be useful to include questions in drafts of your business plan.
Identifying what you don't know is as helpful as listing things you are sure
about. You do not want to present a business plan with unanswered questions to
potential investors, but laying out relevant questions in your initial drafts
will help you identify questions that require answering in your final business
your customer base.
your business plan, you need to identify who you think will buy your product or
service. Why would these individuals need or want your product or service? The
answer to these questions should help to determine all other aspects of your
it useful to ask questions of your service or product. For example, you may
want to ask questions like, does my product/service appeal to younger or older
people? Is my product/service affordable for lower-income consumers or is it a
high-end purchase? Does my product/service appeal to people in specific
environments? You won't be selling many snow tires in Hawaii or beach towels in
Alaska, so be realistic about the appeal of your product.
your business plan, you need to address key questions about your business’
will your product or service generate money? How much money will it generate?
How much does it cost to produce your product or service? How do you intend to
pay operational costs and employees? These, and others, are critical question
you need to answer in planning your small business’ financial future.
All successful small businesses need to grow
their customer base and production capabilities over the first few years of
operating. Make sure you have identified how your business can and will respond
to growth potential.
realistic with your growth potential. Keep in mind that growing your business
requires a growth in investment capital as well. Projecting too much growth in
too short a time period can quickly deter potential investors.