“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”- Napoleon Hill
Now this not the same advice many others might give, but we at Ciya Business Solutions do not necessarily believe that a business plan is the most important step in starting a business. We think this yes, but we definitely wish it was something we had considered a little more seriously before we began.
The reason we came to this conclusion is the following: your business plan is like a road map, and your business goals are the destination. Now you do not need a road map if you know where you are going, especially if it is a place that you’ve been many times before. However, if you have not been there before, or are still unsure of the route it is going to take you a heck of a lot longer to reach that destination – and that’s if you even get there at all! If you follow these guidelines below for the compilation of a business plan, you will find that, even before your business begins, you know exactly what you want to sell (no more and no less), to who you want to sell it and how you are going to contact them. This will save you a lot of time figuring it all out as you go!
Business Description and Statement:
Now although these are two very different ideas essentially, they are very interrelated as they tend to mold to each other’s shape. Your business description needs to detail exactly what your brand is going to look like to the consumer. What colours, names, fonts, logos and connotations will they see when they find your business in all its forms, and most importantly why will they find it like that. What message are you trying to portray? This brings us to the business statement. This is describes what your business sells, who it sells it to, why they might benefit from this as well as your companies attitudes and beliefs. This business statement (when implemented effectively) often forms the backbone of employee pride and attitude in the business, especially that portrayed to clients.
Your company’s product or service
This is as simple as it sounds. You need to carefully detail (not summarize) the exact service or product you as a business intend to supply. This must also include what the service or products unique selling point is and how it might be different or better than others in the market.
Your market analysis needs to include three fundamental aspects of detailing: target market characteristics, competition, and market characteristics. Your target market characteristics is the chance for you to write down the exact description of the type of person who would benefit from your product, and later efficiently direct your marketing. It is also imperative to detail the details of any major and direct competition, including who they are, how they are performing, their strengths and weaknesses and how you are better or different. And lastly, but not least, try to research as many characteristics about the market as possible, such as which products/services are the best sellers, how big the market is, is the market growing, what does the future of the market look like etc.
Although this may not be necessary to spend too much time on in a small or micro startup, this is just the summarization of exactly who fits in where in your business and exactly what their respective roles are.
Marketing and Sales:
Once you have a good idea of what your product or service is and who it will benefit the most, describing the planned route for reaching them can save you a lot of time in the long run by preventing you from wasting your time on people who may not be interested. It is important to detail your exact strategy for finding clients (your customer acquisition strategy) and how they will find you when looking for a similar product or service. Following this, what other strategies will you implement to try and garner as many sales as possible. Without a solid foundation in this area, business success is not impossible, just severely impeded.
Financial Goals and extrapolations:
Finally it is a good idea to be goal driven in your approach to business and sales. Without this you run the risk of becoming complacent and easily deterred achieving success. Through market research and an understanding of your marketing potentials, you will be able to judge a good estimation of how many sales are possible through your marketing strategies and in what sort of time frame. Let this be your guide as to what can realistically be expected in terms of returns and from here set and list in writing, your financial goals.
As always, let us know what you think of the information above and what else we can write about. All the information and advice is gathered from extensive research and experience, and of course it is written with the aim to help other start out entrepreneurs succeed and unfortunately not necessarily guarantee returns or success as much as we wish we could. If you are currently working on a start-up, write to us via our contact page and we will be sure to publish all the info you would like to include about via our platform for nothing else other than the chance to help you reach more people!