Do’s and Don’ts of Creating a Business Plan

So often, when browsing social media, websites, and streaming networks, we see advertisements for businesses or products and think, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Complete meal delivery services, monthly meat and produce subscriptions, and snack boxes with treats from foreign parts of the world. Even monthly dog toy deliveries are great examples of how businesses can quickly evolve from the world’s current needs. COVID-19 was hard on several brick-and-mortar businesses for the past couple of years; however, it also brought life to new businesses. As an entrepreneur, this can be exciting news as it means you’re a pencil and notepad away from laying out a killer business plan. We’ve got some do’s and don’ts for you as you create the world’s next big thing. 

DO use a template. Luckily, previously-established businesses and several government entities are willing and ready to share their business plan templates with you, cutting out a ton of scratch work for the budding entrepreneur. A quick Google search will produce many examples of traditional business plans (several pages covering several topics) and a lean startup template (usually a one-page overview) targeted toward potential investors. Of course, no template may be the right one as you develop your plan, but use the helpful pieces from several to create your custom plan that makes the best sense for your initial presentation. 

DO get in contact with those willing to help you. From business-owning friends, local support groups, and local startup companies, reach out to consultants who can help you organize your business plan. Any bit of advice will be helpful and can help shape your future while saving you money. While digging, you’ll find that SOGO Insurance has several free resources right at your fingertips, especially regarding business insurance and PEO services, both things you’ll need when addressing the future of your business idea. We love to help small businesses catch up and succeed. 

DON’T forget your target audience – investors. Everything about your business may sound idyllic and exciting at first. Still, you’ll need concrete data and solid metrics to help your investors understand precisely why they should partner with you. So be prepared to dig up a market analysis, have a marketing and sales plan for the initial year, and financial projections, of course. The more data you have to back up your initial investment request will be essential in winning over the big bucks for your dream business to get started.

DON’T be afraid to dream big in the planning stage. Let’s face it – creating a business plan can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Of course, you should look at everything with a fine-tooth comb in your planning stage. But dream big, plan big, and pear down as needed. In other words, follow that inspirational poster from your high school hallways: “Reach for the moon, because even if you miss, you’ll be among the stars.” Of course, businesses don’t come to fruition with magic or ease, so prepare to work and remember to stay protected from the unexpected.

In case you missed it: Check out “Hiring Employees 101: The Basics” to make sure you properly hire the right people for your new or existing business.