So, you’ve decided to start your own business! You’ve weighed the risks and decided it fits your life goals and will be challenging and hopefully rewarding. Whether you are starting from scratch, or buying a franchise , a lot of thought needs to go into it before you can hope to make it successful.
One very necessary tool that can help you cover all the bases before you take the plunge and leave that reliable bi-weekly paycheck, is a business plan. Even if you are not seeking investors in your business , you need to invest the time and effort involved in writing a business plan.
While business plans are certainly a requirement for new businesses seeking outside funding, they are also a terrific way to map out your strategy. Think of the business plan as a road map. You wouldn’t start a long road trip without a map, would you? Of course not. The road map not only lets you see exactly where you are, but where you are going to be, and what you may see along the way. While it may not be heavy on the details, it is definitely a necessity if you want to get to where you are going.
Retail Guidance will show you how to put together a business plan that can help you lay the foundation for your business. It will improve your chances of being successful, and generate enthusiasm and excitement about the business, whether its being written for those funding it, or for yourself. We’ll answer your questions about what has to be in the plan , how to do the research , how to make realistic projections, how to set milestones, and answer the hundreds of other questions that will pop in your head as you begin the planning process.
That planning process by the way is part of what makes putting together a business plan so important. The act of thinking about everything that must go into the plan will force you to think through the logistics of your business venture, and perhaps come up with some ideas that you hadn’t considered before!
What is in this for me?
You may be thinking: Why should Retail Guidance draw up a business plan for me. What,s in it for me? If you have never drawn up a plan, you are right in wanting to hear about the possible benefits before we do this work for you.
A plan gives you a path to follow. It makes the future what you want it to be. A plan with goals and actions steps allows you to guide your business through turbulent economic times and allows you to come out on top.
Consider the following:
• Where is my market?
• Who will buy?
• Who is my competition?
• What is my sales strategy? A plan makes it easier to let your banker in the action. By hearing, or reading , the details of your plan, he/she will have real insight into your situation if he/she will lend you money.
• A plan can be a communications tool when you need to orient sales personnel , suppliers, and others about your operations and goals.
• A plan will make you a better manager. It can give you practice in thinking about competitive conditions, promotional opportunities, and situations that seem to be advantageous to your business.
Such practice over a period of time can help increase an owner-managers ability to make judgments.
• What merchandising methods will I use?
• How much money is needed to operate my store?
• How will I get the work done?
• What management controls are needed?
• How can they be carried out?
• When would I revise my plan?
• Where can I go for help?
• What business am I in?