Writing a Business Plan

Writing a business plan

If you have a business great idea that you are passionate about and want to be your own boss, you should take the leap and pursue it. No "what ifs" no "I can't", just take the step and do it.

This doesn't mean you should immediately quit your day job though. It means you should start by spending some time documenting your idea in detail by creating a draft business plan before you quit your job (steady consistent source of income), and before you commit to investing any of your hard earned money or spending any of your precious time executing your new business idea.

Doing this exercise will help you begin your research, determine what it will take to set up and give you a rough idea of what it will cost. 

Creating a business plan will also help you document your ideas to share with your mentors or inner circle group of like minded people to give you feedback. After which you can decide if you think it's still worth pursuing or not.

If you are in the process of starting a business or have already started a business and do not have a business plan, stop and create one now! There is no success without some type of plan.

The best part of it all? It costs you nothing but a few hours of your time to get started. Below are some topics that you should include to get you thinking and to get your draft business plan started.

  1. Executive Summary: What is your intent / what is your business about? What gap does it bridge? What problem does it solve?
  2. Products and Services: What exactly are you selling? What services are you offering?
  3. Target Audience / Demographic: Who is your target market? Where are they located?
  4. Operations / Business Model: How do you intend to run your business? Sole proprietorship? Partnership? LLC? Corporation? 
  5. Organizational Structure: Who are you partnering with? Do you need to hire people to get started? What roles will you need to fill? Do you need full time or part time employees? Freelancers? How many?
  6. Competition: Where is your competition located? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What is their current selling point?
  7. Start up Costs / Financing: What are your initial costs? i.e. Business registration fees, branding costs, website development costs, product research, product investment. What is your source of funding? Do you need investors? Are you prepared to spend the time and money required to get your business off it's feet? How soon do you intend to turn a profit?
  8. Training / Education plan: Do you need to get any training or certifications in order to run your business?
  9. Pricing and Sales plan: How will you price your product/service? where do you plan to offer it for sale?
  10. Marketing / Advertising plan: How do you plan to market your product? 

Keep in mind, your initial business plan will be fluid and will possibly change - a lot. As you put your ideas on paper, you may start to realize other factors, and better determine what you want and don't want in your business or come up with completely new ideas!

Taking this first step and drafting your initial plan will give you some great insights and get you on the path to small business ownership. You have nothing to loose.  Having a solid business plan is essential to the success of your business - Failing to plan is like planning to fail. Start your plan today.

Bola Onada Sokunbi
 


Bola Onada Sokunbi

Bola is a Certified Financial Educator, money coach, finance writer, business strategist, social media influencer and founder of Clever Girl Finance, a platform that empowers and educates women to make the best financial decisions for their current and future selves and to pursue their dreams of financial independence in order to live life on their own terms.