So you want to start your own business? Before you do anything, a business plan needs to happen! Sitting down to write a business plan might sound like something you don't want to do, when you just want to crack on with starting the business. But believe us, it will be worth it in the long run.
Writing a Business Plan ensures you are on track, have a clear idea and a clear method to carrying out your idea. As part of the #IAmEnterprising competition, you'll need to complete a short Business Plan to be invited along to our Business Bootcamp where you'll hear from experts on how to better your Business Plan.
But, in the meantime, get your Business Plan started with our top tips! If you need assistance with it, then give us a shout, we're on hand to help out, you can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or ring us on 0151 706 8111, or visit Melanie Williams in the Learning Exchange Centre who is on hand for helping you with your Business Plan!
So, here are #IAmEnterprising's Top Tips for your Business Plan!
Be Organised and Focused
Okay, we're sorry to break it to you, but having a great business idea does not mean you have a great business. To get ahead, you'll need to write a business plan to encourage yourself to evaluate your idea in detail.
You can use the #IAmEnterprising Business Plan Brief to keep yourself in track and construct your business idea.
Understand your customer
Researching the market that you are thinking of entering is absolutely essential. Talk to your potential customers and get an idea of how they would react to your product or service. How much they expect to pay for your products and services?
Can you describe your potential customers’ characteristics accurately in terms of their geographic and demographic profile, their employment status, profession, special interests and membership of clubs. Business customers may be located in a specific area or in a particular sector etc.
Understand your competition
Market research also enables you to get to grips with your competition. What other products and services like yours are out there already?
Not all businesses stem from a revolutionary idea and many successful businesses are born out of an improvement to an old concept.
Did you look at your competitors? Do you know their strength and weakness? How your competitors promote their business? How could you compete with your competitors? What makes you different from them? Would you be able to offer customers something noticeably better, cheaper, easier than what they are used to if you are going to draw them away from the familiar.
Once you know your customer and competition you will be able to define your marketing plan where you lay out the products and services you are going to offer, how much you are going to charge, how you would promote your business, would the business operate from online or a venue? How are you going to brand your business i.e. business name and logo?
The final part of the business plan will be focus on the start-up cost and projection of income. You will need to consider all the costs of setting up and be realistic. Projected sale is used to set out realistic targets you would like to achieve in the first 12 month.