Every successful business needs a business plan, which maps out your company's goals and plan of execution. The business plan not only helps keep everyone in the organization on the same page, but also serves as your company's resume and can help with funding efforts. This section covers the reasons for writing a business plan and how to write one, including sample plans and related resources.
A person starting a new business often asks, "At what level of sales will my company make a profit?" Breakeven analysis is used to determine when your business will be able to cover all its expenses and begin to make a profit. It is important to identify your startup costs, which will help you determine your sales revenue needed to pay ongoing business expenses.
Writing a Business Plan
Business planning is essential for the success of any business. A business plan provides direction, keeps you on track and is usually a requirement when you seek finance. Before writing a plan, always do your research. You will need to make quite a few decisions about your business including structure, marketing strategies and finances before you can complete your plan. By having the right information to hand you also can be more accurate in your forecasts and analysis.
Effective Marketing Strategy for Your Business
While developing an effective content marketing strategy isn't easy, becoming familiar with its core components is the first step for moving in the right direction. For instance, the key to effective content marketing is to be sharply focused. It’s virtually impossible to successfully market to everyone all at once, so instead you may find it easier if you concentrate your efforts where you think you can move the needle most.
Using Your Business Plan
A business plan does not guarantee the success of your venture, but it does increase the odds of success--if you properly use the plan as a comprehensive strategic tool. You can employ your business plan to sell your business idea to potential investors. Include in your business plan all the marketing, financial, background, and strategic information an investor would need to become as excited about your business venture as you are.
Including Logistics in Your Business Plan
No matter how finely tuned your business plan may be, over the lifetime of any business, things will go wrong. From natural disasters to worker strikes, the best way to survive a business disaster is with a logistics contingency plan. Logistics is all about details, and the long-term success of any business has a great deal to do with well-planned logistics. Focusing on these details continuously in your business plan will increase your company’s chance of success from the get-go and for the long run.
Hiring a Business Attorney
A lawyer can help in many business scenarios, from helping with the incorporation process, drawing up contracts and, if necessary, representing you in litigation. Each business is unique, and an initial consultation with a lawyer can help you determine the complexity of your own needs and how to proceed on many of these issues. While you can often take care of the formation of a legal business entity such as an LLC or business partnership without legal help, forming a corporation with shareholders and a board is a more complex process. Articles of incorporation can be filed without lawyers, but the administrative side of managing the complex tax and legal requirements often requires the services of a corporate attorney.