Entrepreneurs / #ForbesEntrepreneurs

January 18, 2019,   8:45 AM

5 Steps To A Successful Business Plan

Tasnim Nazeer

Tasnim Nazeer is an award-winning journalist, author, and Universal Peace Federation Ambassador. She has written for The Huffington Post, CNN, BBC, and others. She was awarded the FIPP global network of media Rising Stars in Media Award 2018 and the Ibn Battuta Award for Excellence in Media 2013 for writing on a range of topics from business and entrepreneurship to human rights and world news. FULL BIO

business plan

As we begin a new year it is time to put those business goals into action, and there is no better way to do so then to start creating a plan. Effective planning can pave the way for the overall success of your business and gives you something to refer to when creating targets and monitoring progress.

There are many aspects to think about when planning a business model, including aspects such as product design, team management, marketing, branding and launch. Here are five steps that can help you to plan your new business or venture and ensure that it thrives in the long term.

Research your market

Research is fundamental. Extensive research should always be undertaken so that you know your industry inside out and what the needs of your current market are. Potential investors will have many questions to ask, so you need to be equipped with knowledge from the outset to ensure that you can get those vital funds in. Some key aspects to think about when compiling research is information on your target market, competition, budget, geographical areas and your unique selling point for your product or service. You may want to conduct market research in your niche sector and may also benefit from creating customer personas.

Gain clarity on your vision

You should clearly define your vision in the initial stages of your plan. This forms the basis of all further decisions. Those who work with you and those who you want to come on board need to be clear on what you want to achieve in the long term. Where do you see yourself in a year, five years or even 10 years? What if anything has the company achieved so far or is hoping to achieve in the near future? These are questions you need to ask yourself so that you can clearly see the road ahead.

Network and team building

Some of the most successful teams are formed through having met potential partners and colleagues through networking events. This is not the only way to build a team, but it is one way that you can meet professionals who you are looking to work with and who could add value to your business in the long term. It may be beneficial to outline who is already involved in the business in your business plan and their current roles. There are many professional networking events, conferences and business meet-ups where you may find people to collaborate with or who may invest in your idea.

Implement branding and visual elements

You can hook in potential investors by ensuring that your business plan is well presented and consistent in branding. Visual elements that you may want to consider refining and perfecting are your logo, signatures, headers or footers and graphic designs. Careful thought needs to be taken in developing visuals that make up your brand. Craft a logo that visually represents your company identity—this can be used in your business plan and other branding materials.

Financial estimates and projections

You need to be transparent with your financial estimates when it comes to seeking investors or partners. It is important to ensure that all your projections are realistic and that you have evidence to back up potential claims based on your prior research or any sales you have already made from a product or service. Noting all your financial projections, sales (if any) and estimates in your business plan will help you to pitch your idea with clarity.





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