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Business Plan

If you are looking to start a new business idea,  developing a business plan can help you turn your dreams and goals into realities.

Regardless of what type of business or service you want to begin providing, a solid business plan can help you to put your goals into perspective and help you to understand what you will need to do to make the money you want and what your new responsibilities will be.

Brainstorming and Forming a Plan

To begin creating a business plan, sit down with a  friend, spouse or partner and have a serious discussion with them about your ideas and goals. Talking with another person about your ideas will help you to better formulate your plan.

As you talk with them, discuss different ideas about your new business and take notes that you can later develop an actual ‘business plan’. Questions and information you could discuss include:

What service will you provide?

If you have an idea of a service you want to provide, toss out ideas about how you are going to go about  it. You may even have more than one business idea, and that’s okay. Explore these ideas with them and you may be able to  narrow them down to one great idea you'd be good at with their help.

Do you have the skills to provide this service?

While you may have big dreams about starting your own business, sometimes these ideas are not an option due to your level of experience.  What business could you do that will use your abilities and skills? Maybe you want to learn something new, which is okay too, but starting a business on something you are familiar with will give you a leg up on success.

How much will you charge for your service?

Decide what you would like to charge for the service you want to provide. Others can help you as well as internet research to find out what others providing this service are charging and adjust your original figure accordingly. Likewise, if you are setting your standards too low, raise the rate a bit if you think it is appropriate.

Are there any necessary supplies or start-up costs?

In some cases, the service you want to provide will require you to have certain materials of your own that you may or may not be able to afford. Decide what you think you may need and whether you already have these materials. Will you need a loan for the materials? How might you pay for these materials to get started?

All of these questions can help you to formulate a business plan.

Write a Plan of Action

writing planOnce you have taken your notes about your business idea, draft a document that outlines all of the essential points including:
  • Your service
  • Charges
  • Responsibilities
  • Materials needed
  • Marketing/Advertising
If you plan on borrowing money for materials, write up a payment plan regarding how much you'll need to borrow and a payment schedule that you set up together. Create a budget and how you want to repay or reinvest in your business will help you down the road.

Business Planning Resources

Download our Business Plan worksheets to get you started.

business plan worksheets
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