Sunday, November 20, 2011

Transforming Your Business Idea Into A Stellar Business Plan

Contrary to what some of us may believe regarding the economy and unemployment, there are job seekers and others who are not shying away from their business ideas and are not afraid of launching a business. The truth is some of us are looking at other options for generating income; we are all weighing the pros and cons and also finding that opening a business may be the best option. So if you are wondering, the answer is yes, you can too open a business!
Why You Should Consider Launching A Business...
I know this can be overwhelming, especially if you do not have a background in business or have no clue on the basics of developing a business. I too was once overwhelmed with the idea of developing a business but once I learned how business plans are structured and what they encompass, I was motivated and ready to create my business plan. Fret not, have faith and put your idea to work for you not for someone else. There are risks to opening a business but with appropriate planning, research and investment, your chances of creating a thriving business are much greater.
What To Keep In Mind
People today are taking risks and preparing themselves to launch a business. With that said, you will not be alone. Second, being your own boss is really not as far fetched, as some may believe. A unique or innovative idea can be turned into a great business with proper presentation of market research, a thorough industry analysis, financial projections, start-up costs and other pieces that are needed to successfully operate a business. Lastly, as per research, a business plan should be no more than 20 pages in length, which means it needs to be concise and not a book's worth of content.

Expand On Your Idea...
After you have concluded that your business idea is a seller or have developed an idea that is unique or innovative, the next step is research. In other words, its time to expand on the idea, that is the one you have in mind or the one that you wrote on the back of a napkin. Do you think investors will be interested in a half-done idea? The answer is, no. Remember that, investors want to see what you have in mind not your initial idea that you wrote on a napkin. Second, investors are more interested when you have an understanding of your business idea and are able to give a presentation/pitch that is short-to the point-thorough and covers all bases. A business plan that has three years worth of financial projections, staffing costs, employers' costs and so on is right around the ballpark.

Questions To Ask Yourself...

As a future entertainment business owner, I have learned that you must know all the pieces that are needed to operate the business. In other words the details of production from products, to your staff, to the tools needed for everyday office functions and much more. If you are a future business owner and want to pitch your idea to an investor, you must think about what will it take to start up the company and give details on the costs that are involved in operating the business. If you already have designated a business location, know what services or goods your company will offer, have a general idea of costs and have staff in mind, then, congrats! You are on the right track.

Business Plan: A Realistic Presentation Of Your Business
The next step is to develop a realistic idea of your business, its operations and costs. You can do this by asking your self the following questions.                                                        

Have I designated a business location and what are my costs?
What services will I offer and what is the unit price?
What is my cost to producing those services and or products?
Will I hire full-time or part-time staff and what benefits will I offer?
How much working capital is needed?
What insurances do I need for my employees and property?
What supplies do I need to produce services or products offered to clients?
What legal services do l need for liability purposes?
What licenses and permits are needed to operate as a business in my state?
Do I need to hire a consulting team or a graphic designer for purposes of my website and branding?
For business marketing and advertising efforts will I need marketing specialists or other trade specialists for promotions and advertising?
Will I be outsourcing any portion of the services or goods I sell?
How much commission is involved in outsourcing a specific service or product?

Words Of Wisdom...
Once you are able to answer these questions you can start writing your business plan. If you have questions, research "business plans" online, ask a colleague or contact me; I may have answers or can point you to resources. Schooling and expert studies made me realize that business plans need to be thorough and if you spend too much time on the "planning," your business idea will likely never launch. As I finalize my plan, I will continue to keep in mind my industry's trends, ensure that my services and products are innovative and that my projections are realistic. Lastly, I will make sure that my company has a strong mission and executive summary. Investors want to invest in a company that can produce and be successful, short-term and long term; investors do not want a company that is similar to a one-time gig, such as a one hit wonder. Your company’s mission, company culture/values and executive summary can make or break your pitch so make sure you focus on these portions. If you believe in your company, its staff and its purpose then you should have no trouble writing your mission, values or executive summary. It may seem like a lot but once you know what is needed trust me, you can and will be able to start your own business ! Once its completed ask yourself would you invest in this company. If you say yes, it is likely that your business plan was completed correctly!