Studies have shown that business owners who start with a business plan and stick with it, are more successful than those who try to keep it all in their heads.
A business plan describes what your business does, who you sell your products and services to, and why your business will be successful, compared to that of your competitors.
A typical business plan has some key components ...
The Summary - here's where you state what your business is, and why it will be successful.
The Team - quite simply, your people. their skills, and how those skills will contribute to the business. These can include people who would work for you or be external advisors.
The Business Environment - looks at your industry, your business' place in it, and outlines why your business is special, versus your competitors?
The Marketing Plan - this is where you'll show how you plan to get customers in the door to buy your product or service.
Your Operations - will highlight how you will produce your products and manage your services day to day.
Your Finances - This is where you'll demonstrate how you'll make money - where you outline your income and expenses, cash flow and balance sheet.
And last, but not least, your Risks - Every business comes with risks, and your plan should address these. Doing this shows that you are aware of them and ready to deal with them.
A solid business plan, really is the backbone to good business strategy, because it makes you take a close look at what you've planned, as well as identify potential opportunities and obstacles that you may not have considered. And, if you're looking for investors, they won't consider you unless you have a business plan in place.
For help on building a business plan go to the RBC Small Business Resource site online to download your free business plan template, and get yourself planning today.