Know your business

Business Plan

What do successful business have in common besides the fact that they are earning substantial amounts of income- they all began with a simple, clearly written, well thought business plan. If you are thinking of starting your own business and are not familiar with or haven't begun a business plan, let me suggest that you stop everything at once and begin with your business plan.

Studies have shown that successful businesses all began with a business plan. The business plan serves your business in many instrumental ways. First, the business plan defines your business. It is the written statement of what the purpose and vision of your business is. Business plans are not just for the “start up” of your company either. They are also essential for the maintaining of your business as well.

The business plan will cover four different areas. The first area involves the purpose of your business and will answer the question, “What need does your business fulfill, or what service will you provide?” Every successful business begins by either meeting a need in a community that isn't being fulfilled, or by providing a service in an area where there is great need, and no enough service providers meeting that need. This question is imperative to answer, and can determine if your business will be a success or failure from the start. If you are well equipped to provide a service, but the area you are targeting is over run with the same service, your business will have too much competition, and therefore may not succeed.

The second question that needs to be addressed in your business plan is, “Who will benefit from your product or service, who are your potential customers, and why will your customers purchase from you?” This second question is essential to your business plan as well. By identifying your potential clients, you will have the resources available to strategically target your clientele with effective marketing strategies, and determine if you will be able to reach your customers, despite your competition.

This brings us to the third question that will be answered by your business plan, “How will you effectively reach your customers?” A great product or service means nothing if no one buys it! You must reach your customers, and with the business plan, these strategies will be clearly written out and defined.

Finally, the last question to be determined is, “ Where will you obtain the financial resources needed for your business?” This part of the business plan will include charts, record statements, bank records, etc.

If you feel dismayed at the very idea of writing a business plan, you can find business plan templates online that you may download for free. To search on google or yahoo, just type in the keywords,” business plan templates” and you will surely find a template that will meet your needs.