I cannot emphasise how important it is to do, and complete a business plan before doing anything else.
I went a little further than that as my first leap into self-employment contained several different major niches as in, photography, graphic design, printing and art gallery.
So after I had completed a main business plan I did one for each of the main niches in my business as it was then, so I really made a lot of work for myself. However, years later when it came to taking my business completely online and working at home instead of having a store, creating a new undated business plan was a lot easier.
There are many different ways to set up the style of a business plan, this one being quite an old fashioned but sound one with excellent format to follow, and Yes, I did use it. There are other links for business plans on our resources page. I wish you success in all your endeavours and hope you come back and tell us about them on the website.
Micky Kidd – The UK Solopreneur
The business plan consists of a narrative and several financial worksheets. The narrative template is the body of the business plan. It contains more than 150 questions divided into several sections. Work through the sections in any order that you want, except for the Executive Summary, which should be done last.
Skip any questions that do not apply to your type of business. When you are finished writing your first draft, you’ll have a collection of small essays on the various topics of the business plan. Then you’ll want to edit them into a smooth-flowing narrative.
The real value of creating a business plan is not in having the finished product in hand; rather, the value that lies in the process of researching and thinking about your business in a systematic way. The pure act of planning helps you to think things through thoroughly, study and research if you are not sure of the facts, and look at your ideas critically. It takes time now, but avoids costly, perhaps disastrous, mistakes later.
This business plan is a generic model suitable for all types of businesses. However, you can, and should modify it to suit your particular needs and circumstances.
Before you begin, review the section titled Refining the Plan, found at the end. It suggests emphasising certain areas depending upon your type of business (manufacturing, retail, service, etc.). It also has tips for fine-tuning your plan to make an effective presentation to investors or bankers. If this is why you’re creating your plan, pay particular attention to your writing style. You will be judged by the quality and appearance of your work as well as by your ideas.
It typically can take several weeks to complete a good business plan so don’t rush it. Most of that time is spent in research and re-thinking your ideas and assumptions and goals. But then, that’s the value of the process. So make time to do the job properly. Those who do will never regret the effort. And finally, be sure to keep detailed notes on your sources of information and on the assumptions and results underlying your financial data.
To Your Success