Welcome to Work's a Beach. Throughout this content series, we're helping our entrepreneurial readers get the most out of their summer while continuing to keep that side-hustle or newly founded business seamlessly moving forward. Because you can work on your tan while putting in work. And, you deserve to be able to do both!
Today we're discussing one of the most complex parts about starting a business; the business plan. Curating and executing a business plan are two of the most crucial parts of taking a business to where you want it to be. Of course, a business plan can be tailored along the way but you'll need some starting grounds in order to kick things into gear.
If you have some downtime and just can't stop thinking about your future business, it's the perfect time to get your business plan ready to go. We've compiled a list of business plan exercises you can do right from your beach chair while you get your tan on. Take a look, and let us know any other tips you may have in the comments section!
Create an overview
Your overview is the meat and bones of your entire business plan. With that being said, you have to determine plenty of factors before going ahead and writing it. The key here is to finally nail down what your business will provide to others, and then continue from there. You'll also need to determine what you'll need in order for your business to operate successfully (staff, financial support, tools, etc.) and why. Since you've had this idea, it's likely that you know who you can visualize as your customer. You'll want that to be part of your overview as well.
Write your mission statement
Mission statements are often overlooked, but they're still as relevant and important as ever. The world wants to know why you're doing what you're doing, and a powerful mission statement is the best way to display that. What message do you want to send? How would you like to impact others through your business? What made you start this? This should all be crafted into your mission statement, with a hint of personality.
Analyze your market
A market analysis is a crucial point of your business plan. Once you've determined who your market is, you'll need to determine any other potential markets as well. You'll also need to measure your market, in order to understand the resources you'll need to serve that market. During your market analysis, it's important that you familiarize yourself with market trends in your industry, and if they're constant or everchanging.
Competitors are a key factor in your business plan because you'll always need to be ahead of the curve in order to maintain success and promote growth. Determine who your business's current competitors would be and analyze all of their behaviors, campaigns, marketing tools, social media accounts and more. What can you do differently? What can you do better? That all comes into play here.
Determine your budget
Obviously, funding is an important part of writing your business plan, but knowing your budget is even more important. A lot of businesses fail because they either aren't making money or they don't have control over where it's going. Both situations are unideal, and this is exactly why you need a budget. How much money will you need to launch your business? Will you be hiring staff? Will you need an office space? What tools will you need? Do you need website design and hosting? Think slowly and clearly about this one, and get the assistance of a financial advisor once your business plan is complete.
Determine your goals
It's easy to think of the big picture once you have an idea and are starting to get things into motion, but you need clear, written-down goals. These goals will be a lot more detailed than just dreaming of opening several retail locations for your business, for example. How much money would you like to raise in the next five years? By what percentage do you want your social media following to grow by the end of the year? What size would your ideal staff be? These are just a few examples, but you'll need to detail everything you're going to do in order to achieve those goals.