Starting a new business may seem risky during these tough economic times. Creating a sound business plan helps to take much of the risk out of the venture.
(article continues below)
9 Parts to Your Business Plan
Purpose statement – this statement will help to express the reason that you are in this particular business. It will begin to direct your ideas and decisions and to mold the general development of your business.
Mission statement - provides an overall goal, direction and strategy that will guide decision making process. It should define the company and what the company aspires to be and is an expansion of the purpose statement.
Vision statement – offers an idealized picture of what you want for your entrepreneurial business. It should be inspirational and motivational to help you aspire to meet your goals.
Goal – planning the path of your business will help you to get the place you desire. Goals are broad and abstract targets that you want to reach in a designated amount of time (five years, ten years or twenty years).
Objectives - are specific ideas that will help you reach each goal. Usually there are three to five objectives for each goal. Each objective should be measurable, achievable (but still a challenge), relevant to your statements, and time bound.
Target Audience – who are the people that you plan to serve with your business? Knowing the market will help you develop better advertising to get the attention of that market. It will also allow you to create services specifically to meet the specialized needs of that market.
Budget – creating a financial plan that will guide your spending and your earning marks an essential element to any business or individual life. Budgets can be created and molded to meet your entrepreneurial needs, but a budget must be created and FOLLOWED.
Marketing plan – there must be ideas in place that will deal with the current businesses in your niche and allow you to make your mark in that niche. This plan might include advertising, contacts or other tools essential to building your business. It focuses on a path to find customers.
Action plan – these are the actions that you will implement that will build your business. You may want to find a location for your new business or purchase a website that your customers can visit. Each action should work towards fulfilling the rest of your business plan.
A solid business plan provides you with a pathway to make your business a success. Although a solid business plan will not guarantee success, it can be a driving force behind the success of the entrepreneur. Business plans can be used to make decisions for a business today and tomorrow. Financing can be found by using a strong business plan.
An entrepreneur develops a business plan to communicate the purpose, mission and vision of a business. That plan will provide an explanation of abilities and help create focus. A strong business plan will help you take your entrepreneurial business one step closer to the success that you seek.