As we enter the holiday season and conclude the year, there are so many decisions to make! Where do we take the kids for vacation? How long will the in-laws stay? Green or white lights for the tree? Turkey or ham? At some point in our lives, indecisiveness, procrastination, or complacency sets in, yet now is the time to act!
Start and finish your business plan! December is recognized as National Write a Business Plan Month. Writing a business plan begins with a dream or an idea you have had for quite some time. You researched the idea thoroughly and you are passionate. Maybe you have been hesitant and pondered over starting your own business for years and you have many reasons why you cannot get the wheels in motion.
The simplest form of a business plan is a one-page business plan and it covers the basics. There are a few topics to get you started on developing your business plan.
Basics of a Business Plan Template will cover:
- What is the nature of your business?
- Who is your audience?
- How will you conduct your business?
- Why your business will solve a problem or fulfill a need
- Includes pricing, margins, overhead costs, funding
Marketing-how will you reach your audience? The best source, the most cost-effective marketing tools, advertising strategies ie. branding, SEO, social media platforms
SWOT Analysis is one of the most important elements in planning a business. It allows you to understand not only your internal environment but the external environment as well, and it can be utilized as an effective tool to create the right strategy for the business.
- Strengths– assets, skill sets and expertise
- Weaknesses– deficient areas, low performance, and limitations, unknown brand, novice in the market or industry
- Opportunities– bridging gaps, meeting needs, leveling up, areas of improvement
- Threats-potential harm or eminent risks such as policies, entry obstacles, start-up costs
- Who and what are you competing against?
- Improve strategies to stand out and excel with a competitive edge
- Create a timeline which includes short-term goalse. 3-6 months and long-term goals i.e. 1-3 years
There are a variety of resources and tools that can assist you in developing your business plan such as www.score.org, www.sba.gov, www.smartsheet.com. The key is to keep the momentum.
Remember your business plan will require revisions. Change is constant. Stay focused on your goal to create and execute your plan. Share your progress with a mentor or family member and ask for feedback. Take notes and accept constructive critiquing. Best of luck and happy holidays!
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