Hi there! Welcome to our brand new blog where we provide up to date, real time business advice to our fans. We like helping small businesses thrive, and do whatever we can to provide as much assistance as possible to them.
First of all, let’s talk about business plans. You don’t have to write one down and go through an unnecessary waste of time trying to formularize everything (unless you are looking to raise money from an investor, then it is most certainly something you have to work on) but it 100% helps if you have any sort of a plan. This is absolutely true not matter what you do, however, let consider some of the elements writing a business plan might entail:
Firstly, you need to talk about what the business actually does. Are you selling cars, or developing a prototype of a new device? These things are very different and need different attention to get them going the right way. Be specific.
Next you need to talk about the market demand for your product. Having a good idea does not necessarily mean people would want it. Seriously. Also, just because something hasn’t existed yet in your town does not mean it is a good idea to start one. There isn’t an underwater basket weaving class in the place where I live, but that does not mean I should start one. Similarly, just because you have some sort of experience with a unique skill set (say, making Mexican Fish and Chips) it does not mean people actually want to eat fish and chips cooked with salsa.
Before doing any sort of business, it is extremely important to make sure you get the necessary market research down! Without doing so you are going to be exposing yourself to all sorts of risks in the future. Be absolutely sure that there is a demand for whatever it is you are looking to build or start first, before diving head first into it. I am sure you have heard horror stories of people starting their businesses, sinking thousands of dollars into getting a restaurant only to shut down a few months later tail between their legs. This is almost ALWAYS because of a lack of demand.
Next step, your business plan needs the numbers. I won’t go into detail here, but you need to outline how to make money, and how much money you are going to make. Simple estimates do NOT cut it. Actually go out there and do the calculations yourself.
In the next post, we’ll continue this discussion where I’ll talk about testing assumptions and developing hypothesis!