A business plan plays a crucial role in defining your business goals and the strategic ways of reaching them. It is necessary to create a well-formed plan that will outline your business’ objectives, assets, connectivity, income-generating methods, etc. Through this, you will have a bird’s eye view on what your business currently have and where to go from there.
Essentially, your business plan is a roadmap – a guideline – that will direct you towards where you intend for your business to go. Thus, it is important to follow the proper procedures in writing your business plan.
With this blog, you are capable of writing your own business plan in an easy, 1-2-3, hassle-free steps starting today! As an entrepreneur, you really have to start somewhere… and that journey begins here.
DAY 1: GET A JOURNAL.
Your journal is your best friend.
Treat your journal as an avenue where you can pour all of your ideas and share your business plans with, no matter how messy or raw it is. Put at least one entry per day on what you have progressed so far in your business. Whether it is still in the planning stage or you have received your first profit, make it a habit to write on your journal to keep track of your progress.
- I can guarantee your journal is the best keeper of your secrets. Be sure to handle it with care.
DAY 2: THINK OF AN INDUSTRY.
Decide which industry you would like your business to be a part of (e.g. fashion, technology, food, sports, etc.). Choose your area of interest depending on the field you’re expert or experienced with.
DAY 3: WRITE 10 BUSINESS IDEAS.
List the products or services you would like to focus on with your business. Whether you’ve researched it online or heard it from your friends, write which businesses you think are sustainable, achievable, and most profitable.
- Don’t think of your budget just yet. I know it is important, too, but we’ll get to that soon.
DAY 4: KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE.
Determine the target market for your business.
Ask yourself this: Are you selling a product/service to working adults? Teenagers? Single moms? Business owners? Who, in your current projection, will be affected most by your business?
Once you’ve determined this, categorise your market according to demographics: age, gender, class, location, etc.
DAY 5: REGISTER YOUR BUSINESS
Let your business be known by the authorities!
Get the best legal structure suitable for your business from law experts. Although you can venture as a sole trader or enter in partnerships, companies, incorporations or associations, we recommend getting legal advice from trusted entities.
DAY 6: WRITE DOWN EXPERIENCES.
Recall any experience wherein you have had managed a business, or owned a business. Try to remember how long were you in that management role and what other context could you take these skills from?
For example: If you are a uni graduate, did you lead and manage any university activities/teams/initiatives? Or maybe sports experiences?
Not everyone in business gets to experience these things, right?
If you haven’t had these experiences, it’s okay! This is a skill gap and there’s plenty of time and options to correct it. Whether you are applying for a loan or possibly seeking investors, or simply self-funding everything, you want to identify ways you can bridge this gap, whether it be through online courses, volunteer work, shadowing, etc.
DAY 7: BRAINSTORM YOUR BUSINESS IDEA
Do you have a clear favourite for your business idea?
Today is the day to brainstorm everything you know about it, NO RESEARCH – that is tomorrow.
Write out as much as you can, in 3 x 5-minute blocks throughout the day, It can be silly things, inaccurate things, just take it out of your brain and put it into your journal. Tomorrow we are going to flesh the idea out further in preparation for week – the home straight!
DAY 8: RESEARCH YOUR BUSINESS OPERATIONS
Grab your pen & paper as we’re about to write down the 10 key points for your business operations. Think of each area and dive deep into how you intend to run your business. Ready? Here’s the list:
- Objectives of your business idea.
Flesh out what your business looks like further… What your products or services are and how you can help your customers. How do you fill a gap in the economy? What are the goals of the business?
- Staff and Skills Required.
Do you need any staff? What skills are needed to operate the business effectively?
- Legal requirements
Hint: Google legal requirements for [insert business idea].
I am sure you will go on an information tangent, but do keep it simple, write down any rules/regulations that can be looked into later.
- Boost your reputation.
Have you passed on any seminars/courses/workshops? Certifications are a reliable proof of your credibility.
- Materials/Equipment Needed.
What materials do you need? What equipment do you need?
- Operational Hours.
How many hours will you need to operate your business?
- Payment Methods.
How do you want to get paid? Be sure to make it as easy as possible for your customers to pay for your services.
- Support Services.
What support will you offer to your clients?
- Processes and Client Transactions.
What are the processes needed in your business?
- Set a Timeline.
What is your timeline in which you want to start your business?
DAY 9: RESEARCH PRODUCTS AND SERVICES.
Ask yourself: Is your business a product-based business? Or is it a service?
If you’re ѕеlling a product, уоu will nееd tо ѕоurсе it from ѕоmеwhеrе or create it yourself.
Choosing the right vendor or ѕuррliеr is a vital раrt оf managing уоur ѕuррlу сhаin. Thеrе аrе plenty оf online vendor mаrkеtрlасеѕ whеrе you can find and rеѕеаrсh рrоduсtѕ аnd ѕuррliеrѕ, inсluding Alibaba, ThоmаѕNеt, EC21, Global Sources аnd more. Make sure you understand what is being supplied in the current market and if it is actually selling. Do be wary of fads or temporary trends. These can cause a business owner to be stuck with massive amounts of stock once the trend dissipates.
If you’re selling a service, this would be the ideal time to research competitors who are providing the same or similar services that you intend on supplying to your customers.
This task will allow you to validate your idea in the market place, and also will give you context of your service, where you think it will fit in, and you can establish any advantages you have over the competitors, for example, if their turnaround time (servicing time, project delivery time) is provided in less time, you could market this point of difference.
Think… Reflect… Imagine.
Running a business is all about weighing the options and making the right choice towards venturing the right pathway to success.
DAY 10: THINK OF A MARKETING STRATEGY.
Determine the effective ways to reach out to your clients & customers.
Identify the platforms to be used to promote your products/services to your target market. Decide on which social media platform yield the maximum reach then strategically plan on the frequency of your engagement. Create a posting schedule and align your posts according to the “taste” of your chosen demographics.
DAY 11: IDENTIFY RISKS AND MITIGANTS.
“What can go wrong, will go wrong.” Don’t give it the opportunity!
Brainstorm all of the ideas of ways a problem can arise in your business. Is it a product malfunction? A bad customer review? An injury? Chemical spills? Ruined crops?
Brainstorm ways these risks can be reduced.
For example, having a customer satisfaction process where you check to see that the customer is happy with the goods or services, and check in on the quality or value that they received. Use all feedback to improve. No feedback is bad feedback. Use what you have access to.
Now after you have listed the risks and ways they can be reduced, list ways you can overcome any damages or issues if the worst-case scenarios do eventuate. These are contingency plans or recovery plans.
“Failing to plan, is planning to fail.”
This is an oldie but a goodie.
DAY 12: CONDUCT A S.W.O.T. ANALYSIS
Learn the different areas in your business wherein you can: (1) develop your strengths, (2) counter the weaknesses, (3) minimise threats, and (4) take the greatest possible advantage of opportunities available to you.
Use the S.W.O.T. Analysis as a guide to determine which areas you need to focus on. This will help you plan out the best possible strategy effective for your business. In doing such, you’ll be able to lessen potential roadblocks along the way and boost the resources that you have to propel your business towards its goals.
You’ve now learned the essentials in writing a business plan for your own business. With our daily activities, you were able to come up with a step-by-step plan on how you should be managing your business and what are the important aspects you need to focus on to ensure a smooth-sailing, well-structured, productive, and sustainable means for income.
As entrepreneurs, we wish nothing more but to see, feel, taste and enjoy the exquisite fruit of our labor — and that can be easily achieved if you have a strategic guide at hand. Through this workshop, you were able to establish the groundwork for your business and create your own pathway to progress.
Here’s a checklist to see the progress in your business plan… and to check if you’re ready to run your own business ?