As soon as a businessman realizes he wants to start a new business he needs to come up with a plan. The business plan will help you put your feet back to the ground and gain a more realistic perspective of what you intend to do. It will help you evaluate the success you expect the company to have and make sure that what appeared as an appealing idea to you at first, does indeed worth the trouble.
One should consider the business plan as the basis and something that is meant to be more and more precise as time goes by. It is not an exaggeration to say that the business plan should be made on day 1. Not necessarily in a successful way of course, but in a way that it will contribute to the pointed direction. The business plan will set the right questions that your business will have to answer to be successful.
Let’s see how this ”sketch” of the future company will look like.
- The problem
Some people would start with the identification of the audience, however, we believe that a proper business plan should always start with the problem. The question is: What is the gap or problem that the inspired businessman saw in the market and considered that it hasn’t been resolved yet? In other words, the problem is the opportunity that will allow the discussion to begin.
- The audience
One of the most critical steps is to identify potential customers. In this step, you will describe the ideal customer. It is important to know their age, the place they live, their habits, their likes, and dislikes, what they are more likely to do for a living, and what inspires them. A very critical point is also to have an idea of the financial situation of the people you address. This will determine the price and the overall marketing approach in the future.
- The channels
The next step is to see how you will approach them. Where do they hang out online and offline? What content will you use to communicate with them and how often are you expected to send notifications? This step simply answers on ”how.”
- The competition
Once you are done with the raw description of the situation you are attempting to approach, you need to have an analysis of the competitors. Check on their strong and weak points to see where you can focus to gain a part of the audience which is not satisfied. Is it their pricing? Is it their product? Anything that could prove valuable. At first, try to focus on the 3-5 main competitors.
- The differentiator
In marketing a simple rule exists: you can not offer the exact same product that is already being sold successfully by someone else. You have to find the small detail that will set you ahead of the competition. Your solution will have to be unique. This is the best time for brainstorming.
- The suppliers
According to some businessmen, addressing the suppliers should be way ahead after one makes the basic business plan. However, contacting a few potential suppliers is important to how easy it will be to deliver a differentiated product and begin to have a realistic idea of your expenses that you will need to calculate a few steps ahead.
Consider what would be a reasonable price for what you intend to offer. Taking into account what the competitors charge, you should have a clue of what you should ask for.
- The expenses
Breaking down the process we get closer to numbers. Spit the costs to those that you will do only one time and those that you will have to do repeatedly; every month, year, etc. It is vital to make sure that expenses will be less than what you expect to earn from the sales.
- The solution
At this point, you can start to imagine what a proper solution would look like for the audience in the s
- pecific area. For some, this could be described as the elevator pitch. Try to put everything together in one sentence. I try the ”audience” with the ”problem” by ”solution,” contrary to my ”competitors” I ”differentiate” like that.
- Personal fit
Some people like to have a further summary and see how they see themselves in their ambitious plan. A kind of evaluation on a personal level can be done at the end for your own reference.