So you just though of great ideas for your business, and you are not sure if it could be implemented. Or, maybe you need some inspiration going forward. In either case, an effective way to start setting your direction would be to draft up a business plan. If you already have one, then its time to review it.
Why do you need a business plan in the first place?
One of the most common reason for a good business plan is because your business needs to expand. Whether you want to raise debt or equity, you want to be able to convince your creditors or investors about the potential of your business in future. Hence, a business plan with a clear vision and strategy would make it an enticing bet for your audience.
Reflect and review
Having a fast paced business life, your company may have been too caught up with firefighting tasks and answering to customers, till nobody remembers to ask the questions that matter. Hence, having a business plan allows you to reflect on your company’s operational performance to date. It provides you a reference to ask meaningful questions. Am I on my way to achieve the goals according to the plan? Do I need to change my strategy in order to fulfill the long-term vision?
How to make your business plan stand out?
Be clear on your product or service
There might already be existing players in your industry offering similar product or services. Thus, it is important to briefly describe your unique value proposition and make sure to point out the features of your product or service that makes it unique.
Identify your competitors and your niche
This area could be analysed using a top-down approach, starting from the whole industry overview, down to the specifics of your competitors’ product features. From there, you would be able to study in detail the areas your competitors are doing well, and areas they are lacking in. Finally, you could end off with a SWOT analysis to summarise the results of your analysis.
Learn to focus on a particular niche
Divide. Specialise. Deliver. As a smaller business, you need to be able to divide your market into manageable niches, in order to offer specialised goods and services to each group of buyers. This is often a better strategy as you add more value to each of your buyers.
Make sure you have sufficient working capital
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