Devise a successful business plan by asking yourself these questions

When you begin to compile your business plan, the number of tasks on your plate can feel overwhelming.

Before you get into the nitty-gritty of planning a business structure or creating financial projections, you can write a preliminary business plan that will help you develop a more comprehensive one later. And you can do so by asking yourself these important questions:

What's my mission statement?

First and foremost, you need to create a mission statement. This is likely something you'll have a rough draft of in your mind the minute you come up with the idea for your business. Your mission statement encompasses the aspects of your company that will make it unique and provide consumers with an experience they can't get anywhere else.

Maybe you are designing a never-before-seen product, or building upon an existing innovation to make it even better. Perhaps you want to offer a service that will enhance people's lives, and you'll do it in such a way that makes you stand out from your competition. The point is, your mission statement is exactly what it sounds like: a blueprint for what you want your business to accomplish and the impact you want it to have on your community.

Do I need an office building or any equipment?

This might be a difficult question to answer right away, or, it might be incredibly easy. It depends on what kind of organisation you plan to operate.

If your company hinges on providing remote, intangible services, like business or legal advice, you might not need an office space, or any equipment other than a computer and a website.

On the other hand, you might face a difficult decision in starting your business. Do you want to be an e-commerce shop, or do you want a storefront? Some businesses can succeed without a physical location, and save money that way. But others see the need for a storefront to cater to the needs of their customers. In fact, 97% of consumers believe that there is still a need for in-person shopping, according to a global study by Oracle.

On top of that, you'll have to consider what types of equipment you might need, and how much. Considering equipment can range from tangible items, like machinery and electronics, to intangible items like a website and software, it might seem overwhelming to think about. But don't worry, there are many options out there for leasing and financing. For now, just try to compile a list of the things you might need.

How will I attract and retain clients?

One of the biggest questions you'll need to answer, the response to which will determine whether your business succeeds or fails, is this: How will I attract (and keep) customers?

This inquiry is twofold. First, it asks a question similar to the one in your mission statement. What will your business offer that customers can't get anywhere else? Will you pride yourself on stellar customer service or speedy production or delivery? Or, will you offer a product or service that no one else has thought of yet?

That's only half the battle. Next, you'll need to determine how you'll get the word out about your business, and to market it so consumers feel encouraged to try something new. People often don't like to try new things — In fact, 30% of Australians tried a new brand at the beginning of 2020, according to McKinsey. That means 70% of consumers did not. As such, attracting new customers is a challenge, especially because as a small startup, you'll be new to everyone.

You'll need to create a business plan that not only sets you up to run a unique, intriguing company, but also includes a marketing strategy that brings in new customers.

At Wilson Porter, we know starting a business is challenging. Contact us today for information on our business solutions and business development services.