The Must-Haves of Any Startup Business Plan
Are you an entrepreneur? Do you have the most brilliant idea but are stuck in the phase of drawing up your startup business plan? To overcome the challenges of strategic management and time constraints, entrepreneurs must include some of the most essential items into a successful business model.
What makes business plans for startups different from other business models?
The answer is that some startups do one of two things: either reinvent a traditional model and update it to fit into a different context, or invent an entirely new model. But the ability to turn your startup into a successful business lies in the details and knowing the plan in and out. Some well-structured points will contribute to both the clear overview of what to do, as well as, how to present the business to employees, customers, suppliers, partners and investors.
It is fundamental, therefore, that entrepreneurs closely study all the factors – the micro and macro environment – that might affect the business performance throughout the whole process. Here is a list of the necessary items and questions you should take into consideration and the must-haves when designing a business plan.
Think about the opportunity you are creating with the emergence of your company in the market. What purpose does your business fulfil Don’t discount the importance of value proposition: How will your business provide more value for customers than any of the competitors? Why your business is truly the cream of the crop?
Will your business fulfill a necessity or resolve a problem for your clients? What is accomplished when a customer consumes your product/service? Is your offering easily substituted? As a rule of thumb, follow the “KISS” rule (Keep It Simple Stupid).
3. Target market
Remember that segmentation is everything for success. What is the profile of your customers? Do you know what are the best channels to reach them? Do you have a good understanding of your potential customers?
By resources, we do not mean only capital. The so-called business frame englobes capabilities, skills sets, competencies, human resources, organisational culture, technology, and the overall infrastructures that are are absolutely crucial for the performance of the business.
Do you have all the resources needed to at least reach the break-even point? At a later stages, in which ways can you maintain your business’ competitive advantage? Do you have the necessary resources to fulfill the requirements and achieve your business goals?
Never underestimate the competition, even though your offerings might be superior. Research of both direct and indirect competitors must be done on a regular basis. Take the time to test competitors’ offerings. This action will allow you experience what strengths and weaknesses your product/service is up against. Make comparisons. Learn from your competitors mistakes, as well as, their success stories.
Good customer service that works towards establishing a profound relationship with your customers is also an important factor to be included in a business plan. As word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful ways of advertising, engaging on social media, and being prompt when assisting customers can make a positive impact on your business’ image and reputation.
All in all, the value of having answers to these questions is an important step towards bringing your business to life. Remember that business plans are not static. As markets are in continuous change, business plans have to be regularly reviewed and altered. The flexibility to adapt to the dynamics of an industry is the key.