This is a guest post by Robert Gates.
If you are not particularly business savvy, but wish to start a small business, it is a good idea to start with a smaller preliminary business plan. Business plans can get quite technical, and if you jump into all these technicalities immediately, you may get overwhelmed and discouraged. The process can seem much more manageable if you cover some basic information, and then find a mentor to take you through the more challenging steps. Here is a set of five preliminary points that will get your business plan started:
1. Business Mission Statement or Philosophy
You may be selling one product or several; you may be selling a service and not a product. Regardless, you need a mission statement or business philosophy at the beginning of your small business plan because it will keep you, any partners, managers and employees focused on a common goal.
2. Small Business Goals
Next, you need goals to support your mission or philosophy. Start with three or four and build from there. Do not overwhelm yourself with too many goals at this point. However, if you do not feel three or four goals are sufficient to support the mission, then write them all down, but start working toward the most important goals first.
3. Steps to Meet Goals
Now, break those goals into manageable steps. If you have business partners, this is a good time to delegate tasks.
4. Simple Marketing and Advertising Strategies
Many small businesses may be inclined to skimp on marketing, but the Internet provides you with marketing options that cost very little or nothing at all. Social media is one of these options allowing you to use Facebook, Twitter, a business blog, Pinterest and more to get the word out about your small business. Other simple marketing and advertising strategies include ads in a local paper, coupon mailings and press releases.
5. Assess Adaptability
Your plan needs to remain adaptable because as your business plan and the business grows, you need to be able to add and remove pieces of the plan without causing the whole things to crumble. In addition to changing business needs, customer’s needs can change as well, and an adaptable plan will help you serve them better.
6. Cast Your Vision
Now that you have done some hard work, reward yourself by writing down where you would like to be with your business in several years. You can even make a chart for where you would like to be in one year, five years or however many years you choose. This is meant to be more of an inspirational task. You may or may not add these visionary goals into a more formal plan later, but for now they will provide you with some inspiration.
7. Some Bonus Resources
Finally, you will need to begin a more formal business plan. There are some excellent resources on the Internet, such as business plan templates, articles and step-by-step guidance for writing a business plan. Here are a couple of resources to get you started:
- The U.S. Small Business Administration: This website also has many other resources.
- Bplan Templates: These are categorized for different industries and free.
Keep in mind there may be many moments where you will feel in over your head, but you can look to the above plan for inspiration. It is during these moments you can read your initial plan, and reflect on why you started your small business. Starting your own business is stressful at times, but rewarding as well. When you feel as though you are losing sight of your dream because you are caught up in details, center yourself by reviewing why you made this investment.
Robert Gates is a professional writer and co-creator of custom writing company bestdissertation.org which provides help with various writing tasks. In spare time enjoys reading the latest news and findings on the Web, discovering and exposure the most interesting new things. A big fan of art house films and classic literature.
Photo: manezinhodailha on Flickr