Planning your first business

So, you know what you want to do, the next step is to think about the business plan. If you have never written a business plan before it can appear daunting but it’s not difficult if you take it step by step. Think about what you are trying to achieve, the issues you are likely to face and what resources you will need to make the business work. It doesn’t have to be long and complex but a good business plan will help you map out your strategy, assess its viability, and form the basis of an action plan during your start-up phase.

 

Where to start

Start with your marketing strategy:

  • Who will you be selling to
  • What you will be offering that is different
  • How you will promote your business
  • Pricing and profit margins
  • How much you hope to sell

 

Next, think about what you need to be able to produce and deliver your product or service

  • Any licences which may be required
  • Your own strengths and weaknesses
  • Any special skills or training required
  • Stock and equipment to be bought

Finally, think about the finances

  • What are the direct costs – i.e the costs of your product or service
  • What other costs will there be
  • How much do you need to earn from the business
  • How much capital you need to start the business
  • How much will you need to sell to break-even
  • When your business will become profitable

 

Some tips

  • Be realistic about what you can achieve, particularly in the early months. It may take longer than you anticipate to build up sales to the point where you are making enough to draw an income
  • Know your market and the competition
  • Listen to your customers and what they want
  • Consider a best and worst case for your forecast
  • Make sure you have enough finance to manage if things don’t immediately go to plan

Remember one thingTake away one thing from this post..

Time spent planning is never wasted. You will be better prepared to launch your business and more likely to succeed.