8 Reliable Tips on Business Planning for First-time Entrepreneurs

Business planning

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Traffic is getting worse; the internet is creating opportunities. Think of the possibility of not commuting as often and running a shop from your laptop at home or any place convenient.

Indeed, selling online is one of those modern low-cost business ideas that can generate profit. The devil is in the details as written out in your business plan. Get dibs into these tips on business planning to help you turn your idea into a lucrative venture.

Why Do You Need a Business Plan

Business plans never go out of fashion no matter how digital or fast-paced the world has become. Your hard work in doing business or managing your commercial affairs is grounded and made realistic when you have a detailed map that gets through from Point A to B.

This business plan:

  • Gives structure and direction to your vision
  • Communicates this vision effectively to investors, clients, and customers
  • Guides you throughout the business, allowing you to reflect or revise as you go

Are you new to business planning? Let’s begin.

1. Take time to create your business plan.

This document lays the groundwork of your venture and is as detailed as possible. It should answer all the relevant questions, mainly how you will make money from the business. And if you are to present your plan to your audience, it should answer what’s in it for them.

Expect the exercise of writing your business plan to take time because you will do the market research and analysis for your numbers and statements. Work on the substance and the format.

2. Set specific goals within a reasonable time.

You are a new company so no one can realistically assume that you can make money from a few months of operating.

Work with this leeway and set goals for your business within a reasonable or a more extended timeframe. As much as possible, break down big goals into clear and doable action items.

3. Be realistic with your numbers.

Forecasting financials or financial projections are one of the common failings of new business owners. You can learn from other entrepreneurs’ mistake by:

  • Back your claims with real and correct data.
  • “Over budget” your expenses to account for unforeseen costs.
  • Make your projections based on industry standards.

When dealing with figures, opt to make safe assumptions. This move will work to your benefit if you perform better than your projections. Seek the help of accountants on how to crunch and present your numbers.

4.  Polish your executive summary.

It’s the first thing that your intended audience sees. Write your executive summary such that it is a high-level overview that encapsulates the critical points of your business plan.

This executive summary is your hook for people to continue reading your “proposal”. It saves time, too.

5. Come up with a tailor-made business plan.

In line with point no. 4, prepare tailored-fit versions of your business plan to your target audience. They are investors, lenders, or other sources of potential funding.

Because the business plan is essentially your pitch for them to invest or lend you money, you might as well present it in a form that appeals to each one of them, their interests and thrusts.

6. Be creative in presenting your ideas.

Adding visuals can enhance the readability of your business plan. Insert charts, images, and other graphics to break the walls of text. Look up templates or take inspiration from sample business plan formats.

This creativity boosts the appeal of your business plan that ought to be reliable and credible in the first place.

7. Review and revise.

Your first draft might have missed out on a few necessary details. Have other people, most likely professionals or those with experience in business planning, look at your plan for revision or editing.

Their insights and points might help improve your business plan, its soundness and feasibility. Also, ask your family and friends; they might have questions or suggestions that you can add to your business plan.

8. Explain the process.

It’s not unusual to have a business plan without an actual product that may be in development. After all, you can explain the process of how to make, deliver, or sell this product in your plan.

Identify what to sell online and provide detailed descriptions. More importantly, set out how these products fit into the market, what edge they possess over the competition, and what their potential for growth is, among other vital details.

Points to Remember

In business, always have a plan in written form for yourself and others. Keep the document trimmed and concise, steering clear of vagueness, fluff, and over-optimism.  

It is hard work -putting into the details for your first business plan -but the process can get better when you update your business plan the next time.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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