Whether you are hoping to start a business or you are a student doing a Business degree, you will at some point be expected to demonstrate that you can make a business plan. If this fills you with dread or even boredom, then you do not need to worry as it is simply a matter of breaking it down into small doable chunks that you can methodically work through.
The simple truth is that many small businesses fail because a properly researched business plan has not been put into place. It is amazing how many people plan many aspects of their lives e.g. their weddings, the layout of their kitchen, their holidays and even their essays but fail to plan their business before they begin it. Maybe, it is because they do not know how to make a business plan. At this point, you can start to feel pleased with yourself because by the time you have read this article, you will have a good idea of what you need to do.
In this article you will learn:
- Why do I need to make a business plan?
- What is a business plan?
- Let’s work through the broken down plan.
- What to do if you need help.
If you ask ten people in a room running different types of businesses about their business plan, the chances are that you receive a huge variation of answers, particularly if the people are from a variety of businesses. For instance, you may get one person that has written his business plan on the back of his prescription from the chemist shop. Alternatively, you might get the woman that has an MBA that swears you need a forty-page document that details all aspects of the business. In this article, you will be learning about making a plan that falls somewhere in between those two examples.
Why do I need a business plan?
A business plan, basically, is a map both for yourself and for other people too, such as potential financers. It is there to give you clarity and to illuminate the pitfalls that might prevent you from being successful. For instance, if you decided to set up a business teaching young Chinese children living in China the English Language, you might initially think that this is a great service that you could offer. You may have heard that they have to be able to pass an examination in English to get into the best schools so, therefore, their parents are prepared to pay out for them to learn English. You may even have heard that native English speakers are preferred.
Using this information, you would think that you would be on to a winning business idea. If, instead of making a business plan, you went ahead and set the business up, you may a year later wonder why you didn’t have much business. The reason is that apart from the fact that similar Chinese companies have flooded the market and are highly competitive on their home ground, you also have the problem of intense internet censorship in China. In other words, if you add the fact that the Chinese companies will be at the top of the internet searches mixed with the fact that you might not even get through to the Chinese market, none of your potential customers will see your website. This is just an example but can you see why you could waste a vast amount of time and money if you did not make a business plan?