Starting a business is a big step in every entrepreneur’s life; as it requires a lot of courage and work from the first idea to actually being the head of a company. A business plan can help you on that path. You can use it as both a presentation to impress potential investors or the action plan. To maximize your chances of success doing both is a safe bet.
But before you start writing your business plan, you must consider some important factors that can actually determine the success of your business. The factors vary from business to business, depending upon the type of business and the revenue model. However, the key factors remain same regardless of what type of business you’re starting.
This article will discuss those factors that you must consider before writing a business plan, so you can place your business on the success track. Here they are:
1- Confirm the Idea First:
Even the best business idea has faults and blind spots. That doesn’t mean the idea is bad, but that no single person can see every facet that might be important. For that reason it is crucial to confirm your ideas with others before you realize them.
Talking and shaping your concept with family and friends is a great way to get started. Just by getting different points of view you will find ways to expand and optimize your business idea.
That being said, a lot of people, unfortunately leave it at that. Which means the job is only half done. People close to you might hold back important criticism because they don’t want to hurt your feelings. What you need though is impartial honesty. Pitching your concept to strangers might help you get that edge. Here you can either talk to people in the streets, conduct online survey or pitch your idea to business professionals on entrepreneur forums. Both ways will most likely yield new and vital information.
How to Come up With a Business Idea
How to Check the Feasibility of a Business Idea
2- Conduct Market Research:
When you are selling a product or a service, there are two major factions that will influence your success: customers and competitors. You probably know about demand and supply as thousands of theories and concepts have been hypothesised.
The customer has a need that needs to be satisfied, and you and your competitors want to satisfy that need. Ever-changing measures like pricing and marketing will help you to differentiate yourself from your competition.
Doing a market analysis is a must as it gives insight of how to compete in the market and how many chances of success are there. You may be interested in knowing the The Whats, Whys & Hows of brand research.
Remember, the best concept will still fail if implemented on a saturated market, while lacking the ability to stand out, so;
- Know your capabilities.
- Know your customers.
- Know your competition
- Act accordingly
Moreover, you can use some tools for research purposes, i.e. Neatly.io and ATryBox.
3- Acquire Partners:
Starting a business has a very lone wolf appeal; Be your own boss. Make your own decisions, but in reality, founding a business is rarely a one person endeavor. A partner can be invaluable, especially in the first phases of starting up. Not only can you share responsibilities and the workload, but he or she will also bring a different perspective to the table.
Great ideas are conceived through the interaction of peers. Now that you have a business partner you can see what other people might be interested in cooperating with you. For example, working with an entrepreneur that has experience in the market you target, will give you a clear advantage. Contact with suppliers and other support industries can be achieved much easier through the introduction by a peer.
4- Get Mentally Prepared:
Being an entrepreneur is everything but easy. There is a romantic notion that it will lead to ultimate freedom and success. Those things can be achieved by starting your own business but what being an entrepreneur really means is one thing: work.
Many people underestimate how much work it is making a business a success. Long hours at the office or with customers, working through the night to make a deadline and endless meetings will be the norm. Your business will become the leading topic in your head. Be sure you are prepared to face that. Talk with friends and loved ones about your plans and what they might entail.
You need people around you supporting you in your endeavor. Without a strong personal foundation, the stresses of starting a business could be too much for you. At times, you may lose motivation and you have to find the route back to stay motivated as well.
5- Create a Canvas:
The canvas is a concept of describing a business in a general and condensed manner. It will give you the chance to display the basic outline of your business. Key areas of business can be described with short notes.
The canvas is basically a business plan light that will give you an idea how the finished plan will look like and if your concept works. Using it as a checklist will tell you if you’re ready to dive into your business plan writing.
Now you are ready to write your business plan and make your business a success. There will be stepping stones in your way, but your preparation kept them from being too big to handle.
About The Author: (Julius Pankoke)
I help entrepreneurs to successfully start business. My areas of expertise are entrepreneurship and business development. I have a degree in economics and currently I work with SmartBusinessPlan.