Starting A Business, Step Two:
The Business Plan
In this series of articles, we are discussing simple, yet practical steps to starting a business. Today is step #2, writing a Business Plan. A Business Plan is an essential step to start a new business. Personally, I went about this in the opposite way when I began. Those who follow me probably know already, but for those who do not, I will say that my company started ‘on accident’. I really did not realize I was beginning a business when I started, I thought I was simply working from home to help provide a need for our family budget. Eventually, that turned into more people contacting me for services and a business was born. So, in my world, it was actually an afterthought. I do not recommend this. It is much better if you plan out your business and implement the plan you set.
Where Do I Start?
The business plan can and should include your start-up finances, your growth plan, any corporation details, marketing, any funding needed, and more. Most banks will also want to see an in-depth business plan before you are able to secure funding if needed when you are starting a business. A few ways to receive help with this or even free templates are through those listed below (we will give more toward the end as well). Keep in mind that most business plans are not written in one day, so allow yourself plenty of time, even help, to accomplish this task.
- Word Document Example
- Your Mentor (if you have one)
- Many Entrepreneurial Groups or Organizations
What Is A Business Plan?
In the Entrepreneur online Magazine, they offer a step by step description of building a business plan. The U.S. Small Business Administration defines a business plan as “an essential roadmap for business success. This living document generally projects 3-5 years ahead and outlines the route a company intends to take to grow revenues”.
Other Sources & Templates to Help
Of course, you can also go the route of templates to purchase online. Liveplan offers business plan templates to purchase (note: I do not receive any benefit from any of these links, only providing them because I found them in my research). Similar to the template, but probably a little more extensive is a software option. Business Plan Pro is a software that is $79.95 & up and promises to guide you through the process with built-in formulas, answers to legal questions, and more.
For Even More…
For a really extensive description and ‘how-to’ article, you could look to Entrepreneur Magazine again. They describe every section of a business plan from the beginning, finances, marketing, and more to get you off the ground in your business. Also, keep in mind that you should put together a Business Continuity Plan.
There you have it, Step 2 to Starting A Business! I hope you have enjoyed this so far and are looking forward to the next section. Please remember, these are basic steps, not in-depth directions to begin your business. As always, please reach out to another business person you admire and ask them to mentor you, especially if in your industry, this can prove to be invaluable. Also, attend networking events in your area, visit the Chamber of Commerce, and connect to other business people. Other business owners have been where you are heading, so it is always great to connect with someone who has ‘been there, done that’, especially if they are willing to share some of their wisdom with you.
ONE Step Today
What ONE Step or Action are you going to take TODAY? Whether Starting a Business or moving forward in your business, we all need to take daily steps to move forward, so what is your ‘one thing’ today? Putting our ‘actions where our mouth is’, so to speak is what will make a difference. It will be the difference between those who TALK about starting a business and those who actually START a business this year (& any other year).
Will You Be One of Those Who Fulfill the Dream?
Entrepreneurs think differently, this has actual science behind it. If you really want that dream of business ownership, you must take steps toward it, even if simple small steps each week or day. In a few months, you will look back and realize how far you have come or you will be kicking yourself for not taking action. Lao Tzu, the Chinese philosopher said, ‘the journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.‘
I could not imagine, almost a decade ago, that I would be helping other start-ups to achieve their dreams, through providing virtual business services, let alone owning my business. Being an entrepreneur is something I could not imagine back then and now Love. Returning to the ‘corporate life’ and lifestyle is not something I even consider doing. Perhaps you will be able to say the same in a few years. Now, what about taking that ‘one step’ today? Whether researching the industry or type of business you want to begin or starting your ‘step 1 or 2′ discussed in these blogs. I would love to know, please leave comments to let me know. You are the BEST for taking time to read and I want you to know I genuinely appreciate it. I always appreciate the shares as well as, signing up for our email list so that you do not miss any of our new blogs!
Until next time, continue moving forward in your quest for success!
FOUNDER & CEO
TAMMY’S OFFICE SOLUTIONS
Disclaimer – We attempt to be thorough and provide up to date information, however, we are not a legal firm nor any State official office and do not claim to have all of the answers in regard to this topic. We will not be held responsible or liable for missing or inaccurate information or information that seems to portray something not true; as we are relaying information in good faith to help others. We encourage you to also do your own due diligence and research to make sure you have everything you need prior to starting your business. We also think it is wise to consult with a business lawyer at some point in the process prior to opening your business up for an operation to make sure your contracts, paperwork, and everything else is in order for your State. We are not responsible for missing information or misunderstood passing on of information, or misconstrued information on the reader’s part. We only wish to help businesses in offering information we have found helpful. We will not be held responsible or liable, for any losses, perceived loss, or anything else related to the ‘Starting a business’ blogs.