How to write business plans

How to write business plans.

Know some of the potential problems you may face when starting a new business.

Read this small effective guide below to get you thinking about some of the things you might need to know in 2016 when starting a small business.

Get the right training and business books before you start spending your money. Never forget that business is a brain game.

 

START HERE

1. Why is your idea better.

2. What resources and equipment will you need.

3. What is your business name. Check that your name is available. Things like, Domain name and social media accounts.

4. Always look and check with companies house for business names to see if somebody is using it.

5. Trademark research. Check with your local authority for trademark rights.

6. What day will you start your business.

7. What type of business will you be. Limited Company, Partnership, Sole Trader e.c.t.

8. Do your business planning. What do you want from starting it. Freedom, money, help others. What you think you want is not always what you need.

9. Do you want to become a market leading business, or a small business owner. Market leading can sometimes cost a little more to start and can come with bigger risks.

10. You must have business goals from day one. Never go into business and guess what you want as this can cost you time and money.

11. What will you make on Year 1. Year 2. Year 3. Will all the numbers add up as you grow after hiring more people and growing new and old things.

12. What makes you better? What can you offer that others can’t offer. It could be something like handmade or environmentally friendly.

13. Get your price right from day one. Never guess prices as you need to cover all your costs and outgoings. People never like to see prices go up. You need to get this right from day one. A good book to buy for this is called ( Smart pricing. By Jagmohan Raju & John Zhang. )

14. Find the price range is for your product or service before you even start adding the numbers up. If you need to charge more you need justify this price, and the reason why you charge more. People might not buy if you have no reason behind it.

15. Will people pay the price you want. Try and test this before you open the business using a MVP or getting the money first.

16. Remember, you only get 24 hours in a day. You should really be working 8-10 hours. We don’t live to work, we work to live. Work your prices out by the hours you operate, not the full day. Unless it’s an online shop as this can be worked out by the full day. Please note people do sleep. Will you be local or global?

17. We do need brakes and days off. Add all your costs up as well as your own living costs. Car, rent, food, bills, fuel and so on.

18. Are you working from home or an office. Your rent will add up. Will you be able to drop everything if an emergency comes up. Who will cover? Will they be able to manage the tasks to hand over?

19. Are your sales goals realistic? If not, take another look at pricing and costs.

20. Know your market. Who are the people that buy from you? Do they want it or need it? Know the buying behaviour of your market from day one.

21. Is the location going to drive people in? Selling motorbikes in retirement areas may not sell as good as selling mobility scooters.

22. How many people buy what you sell daily? How much will 1% add up to? Will 1% cover your costs? I’m not saying 1% is what you make, it might be more or less. 1% is a good number to work with.

23. Is it a one off sale? If so, how will you get more customers? Advertising can get expensive over time. Will your advertising costs always be cheaper that the sale price for many years to come?

24. Is your target market getting smaller or opening up to new opportunities with growth.

25. Are you aware of any laws that might change and affect the future of your business.

26. Most people are price sensitive with what they buy. Is your market price sensitive.

27. Find your target market, their income and needs. Would they choose you over your competitors.

28. What value do you offer. What will they like. What will they use it for.

29. Know what others are offering so you know how to make yours better. This way you can probably charge more and justify why you cost more so you can close more sales.

30. Find out your strengths and weaknesses in the business and outside of business. Have a USP. Unique selling point.

31. What insurances will you need? Get prices and add them on.

32. Will you lease or buy.

33. Have you got parking if you need it.

34. How will you market it. This do cost money. Write 8-12 ways of marketing down and add up the daily or weekly costs.

35. How much will it cost to win a customer.

36. How will you finance the business. Can you pay the loans and interest off in time. Be careful when getting loans before sales.

37. You will make losses. Add this in to your cash flow. Can the income meet the day to day costs of running your business.

38. Have you tried to get sales already to test if it sells? Have you got any orders for it.

39. Don’t always think it’s better to stock up and max your money out on items. It’s not always the best way to think as this could cost you your business if you can’t sell them or have no money for day to day costs. Never go on assumptions. Know what you can get or have on standby from dealers. Things also go outdated quick. Don’t be stuck with lots of junk people don’t want.

40. Ask suppliers and arrange to buy on sale only. This can free up cash.

41. Will your product depreciate or go up in value. Will it have a long life span or a short life span.

42. List of things you may need to pay each week.

Website

Hosting

Domain name

Website and data security

Do you need a Laptop/computer

Laptop computer upgrades

Training.

Wages for you and staff.

Your Tax.

National insurance.

Pension e.c.t.

Postage costs and printing.

Online and off-line management services.

Advertising.

Phone bills.

Office / building Rent.

Building energy / water / electric ect.

Building Rates.

Office accessories

Transport

Vehicle maintenance

Vehicle fuel.

Vehicle servicing.

Road tax.

Insurance.

Business insurance.

Staff insurance.

Bad debt.

Loans.

Bank fees e.c.t.

Accountants fees.

Internet and mobile costs.

How will you do book keeping.

Personal life. Home rent or mortgage / food / bills

10 KEY QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF

1. WHAT IS THE PRODUCT OR SERVICE

2. WHAT IS THE UNIQUE VALUE PROPOSITION

3. WHAT IS THE MARKET OPPORTUNITY

4. HOW DO YOU PLAN TO MAKE MONEY

5. WHAT IS THE STRATEGY OR VISION

6. HOW DO YOU SELL YOUR PRODUCT

7. HOW MUCH CAPITAL DO YOU NEED

8. WHO IS THE MANAGEMENT TEAM

9. WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED FINANCIALS

10. WHAT’S THE PRELIMINARY VALUATION OF YOUR COMPANY

12. Marketing steps.

1. Claim your market.

2. Choose your customers/market.

3. Clarify their problems.

4. Craft your story / brand story.

5. Create tiered solutions. Create a product stairway.

6. Capture attention.

7. Convert people into qualified leads.

8. Cultivate a loyal community.

9. Campaign and sell and sell sell.

10. Collaborate and accelerate.

11. Construct your team.

12. Care for your customers.

BUSINESS PLAN FOR SHOWING INVESTORS

POWERPOINT PRESENTATION

ABOUT 14 – 16 SLIDES

EACH SLIDE ADDRESSES ONE QUESTION

MULTIPLE SLIDES FOR PRODUCTS

ABOUT 15 – 30 WORDS PER SLIDE

HOW MANY CUSTOMERS WILL YOU GET

HOW MUCH WILL YOU CHARGE

HOW MUCH MONEY REVENUE FROM SERVICE vs PRODUCT

DON’T WORRY TO MUCH ABOUT THE FIRST YEARS COST. ASK YOURSELF WILL YOU MAKE A BIG RETURN IN THE SECOND YEAR. INVESTORS KNOW SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO SIT BACK FOR A YEAR OR TWO TO START MAKING A RETURN.

SOME SMALL TIPS.

JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE MORE MONEY, PRODUCTS OR PEOPLE TO DO THE SERVICE, DOESN’T ALWAYS MEAN YOU GET MORE SALES.

WHAT TYPE OF BUSINESS STRUCTURE WILL YOU BE ? PLEASE DO SOME READING ON THIS BEFORE YOU START AS SOME HAVE DIFFERENT TAX AND INSURANCE RULES ECT. BELOW ARE SOME EXAMPLES.

SOLE TRADER / PROPRIETORSHIP

GENERAL PARTNERSHIP

LP ( LIMITED PARTNERSHIP )

LLC ( LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY )

S-CORPORATION

C-CORPORATION

LLP ( LIMITED LIABILITY PARTNERSHIP ) AND SO ON. PLEASE DO YOUR HOMEWORK ON THIS WITH YOUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT AS SOME MAY CHANGE.

WHAT LICENSES WILL YOU NEED? WHO DO YOU NEED TO REGISTER WITH? WHAT ARE THE COSTS OF ALL THIS?

Always seek independent advice when starting a business. This small guide is only scratching what you need to know. Talk to your local business support teams to get more help on this.