Creating a business plan is only one step to complete when it comes to running a successful business.
If you’re working on your business plan now or you’ve just completed it, you’re probably looking toward the future.
Read on to discover what an entrepreneur must do after creating a business plan so that you can make sure you have all of your essential bases covered.
The Foundation of Having a Business Plan and Its Importance
A well-constructed business plan organizes your business ideas and supports the process you have in mind through the research you conduct.
A typical business plan should cover the following points:
- Executive Summary: A short summary listing the goals your business aims to achieve
- Description of the Business: Details about your company, the industry in which you operate, and the service you plan to provide
- Market Research: Research-backed information about your target audience or market
- Market Analysis: Plans that cover how you plan to succeed as a company when it comes to approaching and converting customers in your target market
- Marketing Plans: A description of the efforts you plan to take in order to promote your business to the right market (ex: PPC ads, social media content, blogging, etc.)
- Sales Strategies: Business launch information, steps for conducting and promoting sales, how you plan to make profits, etc.
- Management Information: A list of the key individuals in charge of managing your company, information about the structure of your business, the projected number of employees you’re going to need, salary information, and various department information
- Financial Planning: Expenses and revenue information
- Requests for Funding: Information about where you plan to seek funding and how you plan to secure it
Now That I Have a Business Plan, What’s Next?
Creating a business plan that works can take a significant amount of time to accomplish, so don’t rush through it in an effort to get to the more exciting elements of running your business.
Take your time, review your work, and have an experienced mentor take a look at your plan as well. This way, you’ll have a fresh set of eyes on your project and if you’ve missed any important details, you’ll be able to remedy the situation before you launch.
If you’ve completed the construction of your plan, there are a few things you need to do in order to get the ball rolling and ensure your success.
File Necessary Legal Documents to Make It Official
Start your business journey on the right foot by ensuring that you’re compliant with state and federal business laws.
File your business forms with the IRS and any local government bodies you need to register with. When constructing your business plan, you should have planned out how you’re going to structure your business, which will make filing legal documents a lot easier. Whether you’re operating as a nonprofit, an LLC, or something else, you’ll want to make sure you’re legally protecting yourself and your company through proper legal filings. This might include trademarking, copywriting, or patenting your intellectual property.
Start Looking for Funding / Budget the Funding You Have
If you need funding during the start-up phase, this is the time to look for it. Seek out investors, crowdsourcing options, and any avenue that might be available to you. With a complete business plan, you’ll have a greater chance of securing funding.
Furthermore, if you already have funding and you want to make sure you’re putting it to its best use, create a strict budget to follow.
Start Advertising and Marketing Your Business
Once you’ve legally established your company, you need to start promoting your brand and making sure that people are aware of your presence. Marketing efforts can take place before your official launch, during, and afterward.
Again, your business plan should have an outline you can use to begin planning your marketing campaigns. Your strategy may not be perfect at first, but as you find ways to get the word out about your services and products, you’ll discover what works best for you.
Create a Team of Professionals
Running a successful business is rarely something that one person can or should do alone. If you’re by yourself at this point, it’s about time to form a team of professionals. When you hire the right people, you can delegate tasks to teammates with the most experience and free up your own time in order to focus on entrepreneurial tasks.
Review Business Performance Regularly and Improve Processes
After you’ve officially launched your business, it’s hardly the time to take a step back. As a business owner and team leader, you’ll want to keep track of your production schedule, sales records, and marketing analytics. This way, you can build momentum, make adjustments to your procedures, and play an active role in fostering your company’s growth.
It’s also important to review your current operations from time to time, especially during the first year or two of running your business. Some business owners review their data monthly while others do it quarterly. By reviewing your business performance on a regular basis, you’ll be able to create snapshots that you can use to compare with other time periods. Doing so allows you to discover how well you’re reaching your goals, any metrics you need to improve, and much more.
Building, launching, and growing a business is far from easy, which is why so many budding companies never make it off the ground. Take your time during the planning phase and take every possible step you can when it comes to organizing your ideas and resources. Take advantage of online business templates, educational webinars, and mentorship opportunities so that you can expand your knowledge while you bring your ideas to life.