We all have dreams. Many of us, like myself, have always dreamed of starting our own business but for various reasons, some of us have not. Many of us simply will not and there’s nothing wrong with that, except for the fact that you’ll never know what it could have been like to be successful!
At any rate, many of us get overwhelmed with the thought of business planning, building our brand, opening up shop, developing templates, a website, etc. Some of us, me included, have even unofficially conducted business for years, giving away our dream for FREE. There is nothing wrong with being a giver either, except for the fact that we still will never know what it could be like to be successful in business.
I want to encourage you to make a decision to move forward. That’s the first step. One of my favorite quotes by Colin Powell, the former US Secretary of State is “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” After you activate your faith and decide to actually live out your dream, start creating a business plan. A business plan will help you get clear about your purpose and will be your roadmap towards success.
There are several key parts to a business plan. The Small Business Association has a great guide to help you create your business plan but here are the nine most important components:
- Executive Summary (your mission, vision and purpose)
- General Company Description (what you do)
- Target Market (who are your products/services intended for?)
- Products and Services (what are you offering or selling?)
- Vendors/Supplies (what will you be using on a regular basis? Do you need outside sources to operate?)
- Competitors (who are your competitors? What’s special or not so special about them? Determine how you are different. What is your niche?)
- Management and Organization (how will you be structured? Will you need staff to run your business? How will you pay them?)
- Marketing Plan (how will you get your ideal clients to see/hear about your products/services? What is your sales strategy?)
- Operational Plan (how are you going to run your business?)
- Financial Projects and Plan (how much money will you need to start your business? How much will you need to run your business? What are your financial projections for your first year? Next two to four years? What do you expect to profit?)
Research! Research! Research! Review! Edit! Review! Edit and so on until you are confident in your plan! You will learn more as you research and actually start to operate so it’s expected that you will update your plan.
This is where the magic starts. Now dig in!
P.S. if you are still not sold or if this is just an area that you do not feel so comfortable in, contact DES LLC. We are happy to assist you!