If you are just starting out on your entrepreneurial journey, a business plan can be one of the most important documents that you create. A business plan is basically a formal written document consisting of the strategies for accomplishing the desired objectives of a company, the means for achieving those objectives, and the anticipated time-frame to achieve the full results. The purpose of writing a business plan is to show others that you are serious about your business, that you have a strategic plan in place, and that you are committed to completing the project on or before a specific date. There are many benefits to developing a business plan, but before getting started, it’s important that you understand the purpose behind it so that you know what to include.
What exactly is a business plan outline? A business plan outline is simply the outline of your business plan. It is intended to provide a clear roadmap to assist in you in planning, preparing, and executing your ecommerce business. By planning, preparing, and executing, you will be able to secure funding, leverage your resources, market your product or service, and complete other necessary steps to ensure that your ecommerce business succeeds. Here are several steps to take when you are preparing your outline:
Thoroughly analyze both traditional and lean startup techniques. Determine which technique would be best suited for your type of business and how you intend to execute it. In traditional business plans, there is usually a clear division between operations and management. Lean startup techniques, on the other hand, allow the business owner more direct control over resources.
Come up with a list of goals and/or objectives. When preparing your outline, consider what aspects of your startup business are most important to you. If you have a product to sell, do you see potential growth as well as an ultimate solution? For example, if you are opening a day care center, you’ll likely want to include specific aspects of establishing a good business plan with financial forecasts, staffing needs, and a marketing plan.
Compare traditional methods of business planning to your own startup objectives. In traditional business plans, owners often include operations details and finances, such as cash flow, profit margins, and debt load. Lean startup methods rarely include these details. Instead, they focus on the most critical aspects of starting a new business, including target customer demographics, market opportunities, and a strategy for marketing, sales, and profit. A good business plan will include as many details as possible, especially those that may be particularly important to you.
In addition to providing funding, you will also need to attract investors and acquire property and equipment for your new business. If financing is difficult, traditional business plans often offer a few suggestions for investors. If you are not familiar with the process of obtaining startup capital from angel investors and other sources, you should speak with someone who is to help you.
When speaking with investors, be prepared to share financial projections, because this will be an important factor in determining whether or not you will be able to raise capital. Typically, entrepreneurs must submit financial projections to potential investors using their own funds or a combination of personal funds, venture capital, or loan money. Private investors are interested in business plans that present an accurate analysis and projected income. However, you can provide estimates based on your figures for the past two years or more, but don’t expect investors to provide a large amount of initial funding unless they see that you have a strong chance of becoming profitable. As a result, you’ll likely need to work with an investment banker to finalize your business plans outline.
Even after securing funding and completing a business plan, there are many other responsibilities you will have as the owner of your business. In addition to raising money, you will also need to find a distributor for your products, secure office space and supplies, hire employees, pay taxes, obtain licenses, and make sure that all of your insurance policies are up to date. While these tasks may seem overwhelming, if you set out with clear goals and detailed plan, it will make it easier for you to meet all of these responsibilities. To learn more about building a business plan from scratch, contact a local business planning expert today. With a little help, you’ll be well on your way to securing the future of your new business.