People often say that they have a plan for a new business, but they will just tell you what type of business they want the start if you ask them what that plan is. For instance, they’ll tell you that they want to start a seaside restaurant or that they’d like to own their own bar.
This is a good place to start, and most business owners do begin by simply determining what type of company they’d like to own. But this is not a business plan. It is just an idea for a business. A plan is much more comprehensive and actually sets the foundation for that company.
What’s in a plan?
The big difference with your plan is that it has to be a lot more detailed and dig into things on a deeper level. For instance, here are some questions you may want to ask yourself:
- What type of corporate structure do you want to use?
- What will your role be within the business?
- Do you need to bring on any investors or partners?
- What type of competition are you facing and how can your company stand apart?
- What location would you like for your new business?
- What are your earnings projections? What are your cost projections? What is the balance between the two?
- Do you have any ideas for a business name or other branding elements?
- Where are you planning to get your parts and materials or your other supplies?
- What type of staff are you going to need and what employees do you need to hire?
At the end of the day, you need to think of your business plan as a blueprint. It defines everything that you need to know about your business to open your doors.
Your plan may also go beyond that opening. You could have a five-year plan and a 10-year plan. This gives you set goals that you can work toward. Even if things change over time, at least you know where you’re trying to get and what you’re trying to accomplish. This helps you make every decision with these goals in mind.
And you can certainly see how it is much more comprehensive than just having an idea. Be sure you know exactly what steps to take as you start your new business.