How to Create a Clear Map for Success for Your Business Before It Gets Off the Ground

Whether you’re applying for a bank loan or looking to grow a profitable business on your own, it’s essential that you have a strong foundation. The best way to help ensure your business starts off on the right foot is to create a thorough and well-researched business plan.

Despite what many business owners think it’s surprisingly easy to create a great plan. There are some basic areas that every good plan needs to cover. The first is an executive summary. This outlines the mission and overall goal of your company. From ending world hunger to more simple, practical goals like providing a local service, this helps direct the rest of your plan.

Next, include all the practical information about your business. Location, number of employees, history and products are all important areas to highlight in your business plan. After business information, you’ll want to state the goals and objectives that help you accomplish the mission described in your executive summary. This area is one of the most important, as it shows how easily you can divide and conquer. By creating smaller steps and more manageable goals, you’re able to show funding bodies or future partners and employees that you understand your industry well enough to create a dynamic and practical action plan.

Another key area to include is your legal structure. Is your company an LLC, S-corp, C-corp or other type? It’s essential that you choose a legal structure that is viable for your business and gives you the best balance of protection and flexibility.

How will your business earn a profit? Your plan needs to include the types of products and/or services that you will provide. It’s a great idea to include information on your target customers, as well as some information on your competition.

Easily one of the most forgotten or overlooked areas, your plan must include a thorough financial analysis and detailed financial projections. Without these, you’re taking a huge risk. Financial institutions will rarely loan money to any new business that doesn’t accurately assess their financial prospects. Clear-headed estimates and backup plans in case of emergency are essential to show that you’ve thought seriously about the risks you’re taking in starting a business and have a solid plan to pay back your debts.

Now that you know all the essential information to include in your business plan, it’s time to make a first draft. Spend time editing and creating new drafts of your plan to ensure that it’s error free, easy to read and concise.

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