You have an idea or service you would like to take into the market but have no idea where to start. Writing a business plan can help you keep on track when starting a business and is key to ensuring success in the early days. Writing a business plan can seem daunting and confusing, so we have put together this article which covers 6 top tips for developing a business plan for Start-Ups.
1. Research Your Market Thoroughly
Before you even think about setting up a business you should always be clear on your target market and know all the ins and outs of your target market. This will allow you to spot strengths and weaknesses in your business you can act on to better yourself. Conducting thorough research may highlight potential issues within your idea you rectify before you even start, as this may be costly in time and money if discovered further down the line. As well as discovering issues there is also potential to discover opportunity when knowing your market. This may lead you expand your offering or tweak your product or service to attract more buyers.
2. Know Your Competitors
Knowing your competitors and how they will impact your business is crucial and can even make or break your idea. For example, if you are purchasing a business premises it would be smart to check if you have any competitors in the immediate vicinity. You may find that the area is already saturated with businesses offering the same product or service as you, which may make it harder to attract business. Knowing your competitors and what they offer will give you opportunity to develop a USP (Unique Selling Point) which will help set you apart from everyone else. The more niche you can develop your product or service the less competitors you will have, this is where point 1 of ‘market research’ is extremely important.
3. Be Honest About Risk
It is easy to put on rose tinted glasses when it comes to something you are passionate about like a business idea. However it is important that you are honest with yourself bout all risk factors involved. Taking this approach will allow you to account for these risks in your business plan, so should the worse case scenario happen you are prepared.
4. Be Clear About The Opportunity to Investors
How many times have you watched Dragons Den and thought ‘wow, what a brilliant idea’, but none of the dragons invested in the product because the opportunity wasn’t clearly communicated. When pitching for investment in your start-up to an investor confidence is everything, you should be clear on every aspect of of your business from its USP, to its target market, to your financial projections, everything should be clear and easy to communicate….which brings us onto the next point.
5. Get Your Financial Information Right
This is arguably the most important point of all when creating a business plan. Getting your financial projections wrong can have catastrophic consequences when starting out in business, especially if you are investing hard earned life savings or taking out loans and putting yourself or others in debt to get the business off the ground. Seeking advice from an accountant can ensure all your calculations are correct and you are accounting for all aspects of the business. An accountant may also be able to point you in the right direction when trying to raise capital and things like grant funding.
6. Implement Your Business Plan Correctly
Great, you now have a bullet proof business plan which is going to ensure you success beyond your wildest imagination….But you have no idea on where to start or how to implement it correctly. Just like your financial information, most accountants will offer business advisory services and do hand holding through the initial set-up and implementation of your business idea. If you are confused about any aspect of your business plan it is always better to seek advice from a professional rather than just winging it and hoping for the best.
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Please visit our Start-Up web page here for more information on how Onyx can support you and your business idea in its earliest stage and help develop it into a thriving enterprise.
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