You’ve struggled through the sleepless nights; you’ve run the numbers through your head a million times; you’ve used your family, friends (and the occassional unsuspecting stranger) as a sounding board for your idea and now… you’re ready to take the plunge:
YOU ARE STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS!
And, if you’ve approached family, friends, financial institutions or private investors for seed money to launch your amazing and revolutionary business idea, I virtually guarantee you’ve heard any combination of the following questions:
1. Where’s your business plan?
2. What are your start-up costs?
3. What are your anticipated year one earnings… and when will your venture
become profitable? (after all; your investors expect repayment!)
4. How, and to who will you market your business, etc…etc..etc….?
I’m pretty sure you’ve figured it out… your business plan is to your ultimate success in securing investors, and in creating an operational and sustainable enterprise.
To use an old carpentry anology (yes… I did a little hammering as a kid back in my native Newfoundland; so I kindá know what I’m talking about) your business plan is the ‘foundation’ on which to build your business.
You would never design a 7 bedroom; 3 bathroom house with a high-def gaming room; gourmet kitchen; customized bath and attached garage (lets estimate it at a cool $1million) and NOT take the time to engineer a solid foundation!
Why? Because you understand that without that solid and well-engineered foundation; your house will collapse, and you will lose your investment.
Yet, far too often entrepreneurs put themselves in this very position by designing incredible business concepts and strategies; yet they fail to perform the diligence necessary to develop a sound, viable business plan. Therefore, they place themselves (and if they have investors… them as well) at a severe disadvantage right out of the gate.
If they haven’t properly covered the bases; they will likely be sitting back within the year wondering ‘what the heck happened?‘
Do yourself a favour. Take the extra time and make the extra investment to develop a business plan that clearly identifies all the variables that will impact your business so that you optimize your chances for success.
There are plenty of small business websites operated by government business development offices in most areas that can assist you by providing guides and templates to aid you in developing your plan.
Alternatively, seek the advice and guidance of a friend or business acquaintance to see who they used to set them on the right path.
If you believe in your business concept; its worth going that extra mile.