What Should Your Business Plan Look Like in 2018?

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The business world is changing year on year – nothing stays the same for too long these days, what with the major advancements in technology and how fast everything is moving overall. Creating a business plan used to be about looking ahead to the next 10 years and deciding what you’d do with your business and where you wanted it to be, but things can change far too quickly these days to project that far into the future. Here are some pointers for entrepreneurs who are yet to start their business and want to create a plan suitable for 2018:

Keep Your Business Plan Short

Your business plan needs to be short and sweet. You’re going to be using this plan in the coming months to stay focused and make decisions, but you may also use it to secure funding. Nobody who could offer you funding is going to want to read through 100 pages of your business plan. They’re likely going to be a very busy person, and they simply won’t have the patience.

 

Suitable For You

Your business plan needs to be written not just to secure funding, but so that it’s suitable for you to use, too. It should help you to grow your business over time, and be something you can refine later on. Your business plan shouldn’t go stale – you should look to update it when appropriate!

Suitable For Your Audience

Your business plan also needs to be written so that it’s suitable for investors to read through and understand where their money will be going. Here’s an idea of what you should include in your business plan:

  • Summary – this is an overview of your business and plan, should be around two pages long.
  • Opportunity – here you should outline what you are selling, who the competition is, who the target market is, and any other relevant information.  
  • Execution – how will you turn your opportunity into a business? Also include your marketing and sales plan.
  • Team and company – describe your current team and who you need to hire to succeed.  
  • Financial plan – include a financial forecast and know your numbers so that investors can feel more confident in what you’re saying to them.
  • Appendix – here you should include product images and additional information.  
  • Executive summary – introduce your company, explain what you do, explain what you’re looking for from your readers. Should be able to stand alone.

Make sure you talk about what you’ll spend money on in your business plan, as well as how investors will get their money back from you. You need to make it attractive. You could even include where you’re going to get equipment and machinery from. Have a look at TruckDealersAustralia.com.au today to get a good idea of prices and what you can include in your plan. You should also include a one sentence overview and summarize the problem you are solving. Knowing your target market is absolutely imperative. This is because your business plan needs to outline what makes you unique and why customers will come to you rather than the competition.

Who are the competition? What will you do differently? Know your exact funding requirements too – you need to know what you’re asking for, even if you expect you will get a counter offer. Remember, you can find templates online if you need one.

Six Secrets To A Successful Startup

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It’s widely believed that nine out of ten startups don’t make it past their first year in business. While the true figure might not be quite so high, it is still sure to be a substantial number. There are many reasons why people businesses fail, but there are plenty more reasons why businesses succeed. Here are six (not-so-secret) secrets for you to follow to ensure that your startup is a success.

  1. Get On Top Of Your Finances

One of the biggest reasons business fail is because their owners don’t properly take care of the finances. After all, no business is going to survive for very long if it doesn’t have any money. If you’re not very financially savvy, it makes sense to consult an accountant before making any big financial decisions.

  1. Organization Is Everything

If you’re not organized, you’re never going to get anything done. Make sure you have a business plan, so that you know the general direction your business is going to take. You should also make to-do lists every day to make sure that you get everything done that needs to be done.

  1. Learn From Others

Even if you’ve studied business, marketing, and accounting, you still aren’t going to know everything that you need to know about running a business. A lot of this knowledge comes from trial and error, but you can easily learn from other small businesses too. Look at the things that successful competitors are doing and try to do this within your own business.

  1. Stand Out From The Crowd

If you want to be successful, then you need to get your brand and products out there for everyone to see. First impressions matter so ensure you market your small business and products well so that they attract the right target market. Be open to new approached, and move with the times, so that your business doesn’t get left in the past.

  1. Customer Service Is Key

If you’re not good to your customers, then your customers aren’t going to be good to you. Sales are where most of your income as a business is going to come from, so if you don’t focus on getting your customer service right, you’re not going to sell anything, and aren’t going to last very long as a business.

  1. No Pain, No Gain

You are not going to simply make a business and have money coming in right away, especially if you don’t put the work in. You need to make sacrifices to get your business off the ground. You’ll be working longer and harder than you’ve ever worked under a boss, but the rewards will be much greater.

Owning a small business isn’t easy, but the only way that you are guaranteed to fail is if you don’t try. Don’t give up on your business, take care of your customers, work hard, and get organized, and you should do just fine. It won’t be easy, but nothing worth doing ever is.