As I spent some time writing about business plans last week I felt as though there was more that I should say and some things that might help some of you understand.
Business plans should be a living document that you refer to often. It should be a virtual road map of how you intend to do business. Properly written it should describe whats going on in your mind and what your concept is. They are not meant to be difficult or stressful to produce and generally speaking really don’t have to meet a specific guideline.
Starting a business without a business plan as a reference is like going to a remote town in a state that you know nothing about without a road map to get you there. Chances are you will never make it but, if you do successfully it will take you longer to get there in most cases than if you had consulted a road map.
So, to reiterate, once you have the idea of what you are going to do or what your concept is, start to develop your ideas. Think of yourself and your idea and then start to grow on those ideas. You can consult your competition by visiting, look at their advertisements, pay attention to their customers, look at their store design (if its a retail store) or the office set up (if its an office) and generally consider exactly how you intend to begin.
Think of the things that “could” occur and how you will react to the things that “pop up”. But, again, you are trying to decide how you intend to conduct your business. Perhaps you intend to send thank you notes to your customers, you need to write into your business plan exactly what type of stationary you are going to use and what color you are going to write your note in. Perhaps you want music in your area- what type of music is it going to be, etc. I guess you get the point by now.
Most importantly – BEFORE YOU SIGN THE LEASE OR START YOUR BUSINESS YOU MUST WRITE DOWN EXACTLY WHATS IN YOUR MIND. I sometimes jot down business plans for fun. Take a look at a business, visualize myself in the business and jot down ideas and thoughts about how to properly engage in this business.
Lastly, Google business plans or “How To” and you will find a treasure of business plans and ideas.
Let me know how it goes, I would be interested to hear.
Ric Overton of http://PianoSD.com