4 Simple Rules for Creating a Business Plan

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For many of us, leaving the comforts of a full-time 9 to 5 job and jumping into the world of entrepreneurship is daunting and exciting. Here's a quick reminder of what you need to do before investing money in starting a business.

#1 Create a business plan.

A plan for a business, done properly, will ensure you don't need to keep increasing your capital. A good business plan acts as a blueprint for your business projection - of where you want your business to be in the next 5 to 10 years. A good business plan also states how you're going to make it happen. A business with a good plan is void of losing capital every time and again - it's capable of raising capital automatically. A good business design attracts investors, but a poorly designed one detracts them.

#2 Prepare yourself like you're going for war.

When you go into business, prepare yourself like you're going to war. What do you need to do before you head to war? You study your enemy, you do your research, and you build a war plan.

Before you start writing up ideas in your business plan, you need to spend some time to do some research into the industry you're going into, the market you're dealing with, and the clientele you'll be servicing. This is an important aspect of business planning, whether or not you've had ten years of experience in your industry. This plan includes a competitive analysis, price analysis, SWOT, and even a PESTLE analysis.

Thankfully for our generation, research is a lot easier with the Internet. Use it to gain insight on industry experts, competitive analysis, business associations in the industry, and the suppliers. This research helps you put in a business plan together as you'll have a better understanding of the forces and dynamics affecting the industry. Attend conferences, seminars, and sharing sessions that focus on the business you want to begin in.

#3 Identify your challenges.

Once you have this, the next thing to do is create the plan yourself because you know your business best. Identify the challenges you might face and the solutions to them. This is critical when meeting with potential investors. These challenges aren't just business challenges within the industry. It's also the financial challenges, the emotional, and mental challenges you'll go through. Having the support system around you is vital to keep you going.

#4 Know the rules and regulations.

In the world we live in, setting up a business today is relatively easy, and you can do it in the normal brick-and-mortar way, or you can do it online. Either way, you need to know what you're getting yourself into in terms of the rules and regulations. What paperwork should you prepare? What are the conditions of doing business? What laws are applicable in the industry you're in? If, for instance, you're based in Smithfield, lawyers in Smithfield NC can help you navigate your way around business laws and regulations, so you're covered in terms of data protection, privacy, licenses, and so on. 

The hours and commitment put in starting a business are definitely a lot more than a regular office job, but the rewards are lucrative. If you have an idea, start with a plan.