Remember writing term papers in high school or college? You had to prove a point using evidence provided by your research of the topic. In many ways, a business plan is proving the following thesis: “I can successfully operate a sustainable business.” So what research do you need to prove this idea?
- Market Research – Who are your competitors in the area? What are their prices for comparable services? How will you differentiate your product/service from theirs?
- Financials – Create realistic projections for the money you will make and lose over the next 3 years. Explain how you came up with these figures, and how they will figure in to the growth of your company. Also include the amount of money you, your partners, and your investors (if applicable) are contributing to the start up.
- Biographies – Who’s who in the organization? What skills, experience, and talent does each of the business owners/partners bring to the proverbial table? Understand how each person will make the business successful.
- What are the duties of each person employed by the company?
- Each person should provide a personal financial statement
- How will matters be resolved if the partners cannot agree on an issue?
- Marketing Plan – How will your potential patrons know about your business? How much of your budget is devoted to marketing? Depending on the type of business, will you do traditional advertising, or organic word of mouth marketing?
- The Company Itself – What product or service are you providing, and how will you be doing this? How did you originally get involved in the industry? What makes this industry a worthwhile use of your time, energy, and money?
These are only a few of the aspects to consider when creating a business plan. You can find many seminars on how to write a business plan for little to no cost at local libraries, local community colleges – particularly Brookdale Community College, and of course at First Financial Federal Credit Union. Formal templates can be found at www.SBA.gov or www.SCORE.org. Use these questions provided, along with one of their templates, to prove your thesis – you can, in fact, operate a successful business…once you have the right plan!
For more information about any of First Financial’s business accounts and services, you can contact Business Development by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org