27
Jul

Gaining finance to start your own business can be a challenging task especially in today’s economic crisis, but a well written small business plan can be the difference between getting funding and not. A business plan defines your business, what it wants to achieve and how you plan to achieve it.

In this article we take you through the steps of creating a great business plan.
What is your business and what does it plan to do?

This is perhaps the most important area of a business plan and could be the difference between attract investment or not. Your business plan should clearly state:
•    What your business intends to do
•    What products/services will the business provide
•    How will customers have access to your products/services i.e. commercial shop, online, over the phone
•    How will you price your products/services

Knowing your customer base

Another essential part to a business plan is knowing about your potential customers and how you are going to market your products/services to them. Here are some questions that you should take into consideration:
•    How old are they? Under 18, 18-30, 40-50, 50+
•    How much disposable income will they have?
•    Do they already buy a similar product or service to the one that you’ll be offering?
•    Why would they choose your business over a competitor?
•    How will you tell prospective customers about your product or service?

Doing some research and knowing as much as you can about the types of people that would buy your product or service will help you in your marketing plan.

Company name

The name in which you choose for your company not only conveys the company to potential customer, it is also your brand and should be chosen carefully. First thing you should do is make sure that the name you have chosen is not already in use and that the web domain is available (if you plan to have a website). You should also make sure that the branding and name will fit with uniforms and business stationary.

Employing staff

At the beginning of a small business venture staff may not be an issue, but as the company starts to expand hiring employees will help you grow your brand.

Before you take on any staff it is important to familiarise yourself with the employment law and make provisions for any entitlements that they need.

Writing the business plan

When writing your business plan make sure that it is clear and concise, and be realistic about any profits that you plan to make. Use your research to support your calculations and don’t be afraid of changing it once your business begins to grow and expand.

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