5 Top Tips For Writing your business plan
One of the most important things for any start up is the business plan, however, it often seems to be overlooked. Whilst it is not compulsory, it can help you focus on specific steps that are essential for your business to succeed. It is also a must have to help you secure investments and loans as well as support from potential employees and partners. It will also demonstrate to them that your business has the potential to succeed and take them through how you will do it.
But writing a business plan is way easier said than done.
That's why we want to give you our top 5 tips to get you started on your business plan!
1) Prove Everything; yes, we mean everything! Any claims, statistics, figures in your research must be proven to be true. Fans of #TheApprentice will be all too familiar with the interview stage of the show; and the tears that usually come with it. The contestant's business plans are examined and ripped to shreds by Lord Sugar's team of experts who can spot a lie a mile away. Don't make this mistake, if you can't prove it's true it shouldn't be in your business plan.
2) Know Your Competition. Is there someone out there already doing what you want to do? Is it already successful? Can you innovate the idea or will it just be the same as everyone else? These are all questions that you need to be asking yourself and answering in your business plan. If your business already exists out there, you are going to find it a lot harder to sell. What's more, you might even get started and become swamped in an overcrowded market. The easiest way to prevent this and do your research.
There are two ways that a successful business can fit into competition. The first is by there being no competition; your idea is brand new and opens up a whole new industry. This would allow you to pave your ways as experts of this new industry but is, however, risky in case your market doesn't exist for a reason: no one wants to buy from it. The other way is to break into an existing market with innovation. For those who don't know, innovation is the act of taking an idea and improving it as appose to inventing which is creating something completely new from scratch. If you have an idea to change something that already exists (hopefully improving it) this could make you stand out from the competition and succeed.
3) Create A Solution, Not Just A Product. The best example here is creating a drill. Your client likely doesn't care about the specs and details of the drill; they just want to hang a picture on their wall. Understanding the difference between creating a product and solving your audience's problem can make or break your Business Plan.
4) Plan your finances. Starting up a business can be very costly so make sure you have calculated the amount of money you should need. You can then go about raising funds through grants, crowdfunding and start up loans. With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the government have also offered several different grants and loans to help self-employed people. It may also be worth checking with your local council to see if they have anything they could offer you.
Planning your projected finances will also give investors insights into how your business should perform and allow them to make an informed decision about whether to invest in you.
5) Think marketing. Having an amazing product and start up plan is useless if you haven't thought about marketing. Marketing bridges the gap between the product and the people who need it. Without it, how are they supposed to hear about your ideas? This is why you must include a marketing plan in your business plan.
So, there you have it, our top 5 tips for writing your business plan. But, as a bonus, we want to give you a final tip that all start-ups need to know:
Get a good accountant! A good accountant will help you to make the right choices for your business; they will advise you with the right set-up, tax planning, accounting solutions and take care of the boring stuff whilst you take your business to the top.
Want any help with your accounts? Just starting up and don't know what to do? Or thinking about an idea but too scared to go for it because of the confusing minefield of tax?
Get in touch with us for a chat about your accounts; You Know It Makes Sense!