You’ve got a great idea and a fantastic team of people working with you. You have all of the ambition and drive that you need to make your business goals a reality.
But you need money. To get the money, you’re going to need investments or a loan — and that requires a written business plan that you can show to your potential investors.
Where do you even start? Here are some tips that can get you going:
1. Worry about substance over form.
There’s no set number of pages or sections that you have to complete in order to have a business plan. You generally want to avoid fluff and make your plan as clean, clear and readable as possible. Charts or graphs may be useful (they’re memorable and help people digest information quickly) but focus on your most important points: Your strategy, projections and the data that supports your belief that this is a viable enterprise.
2. Have a clearly defined vision.
It’s better to start small and build upward and outward than to take the “everything but the kitchen sink” approach to your plan. You may very well have dreams of being bigger than Apple or Amazon one day, but focus on what your first steps and early days will be in order to present a realistic picture of what you intend to accomplish. Your business needs a mission statement that will inform your company’s vision well into the future.
3. Know your target market.
Who will be your customer base? How will your company meet a specific need for that target market? How can your company differentiate itself from other companies as it goes about meeting those needs?
Once you have these three concepts down, consider the advantages of working with an attorney who is experienced with business formation and planning so that you can get your new enterprise off to the right start.