Learn more about planning a business launch.
Creating a solid business plan takes time and energy. You may be asking: "Why do I need a business plan?" or "Why go to the trouble of documenting a business idea that I know will work?" The answer is that you significantly increase your chance of success if you chart your course with a written business plan.
Creating and using a business plan affords you the opportunity to think through your business idea, and to track operational results against your plan. It's a valuable tool that can make a substantial difference in the success or failure of a business.
When you operate your own business, you need to make sure that you have adequate insurance, for yourself and for your business assets. Depending upon your business, you may also need to protect your business ideas using patents, trademarks or copyrights.
When do you open your business? The time of year seldom matters. What does matter is that you have completed all necessary preparations and you are ready for an influx of customers. Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression.
The ultimate success of the business can hinge on where it's located; there are many options to consider for finding just the right space for your startup.
Before taking the plunge and starting a new business, you'll want to assess if there is a ready market for your product or service, and that your efforts will result in company profitability.
What do you really know about the target market and location for your new business? Sources of solid research information are all around you, and many of them are inexpensive to use and vital to your success.
When creating your home office space for your startup, consider these options and implications.
Ways to recognize and resolve problems with a startup business.
How to avoid the common pitfalls startup businesses experience.
Success means many things to many people, but when measuring your small business's success, it depends upon your business's life cycle.
The marketing portion of a business plan addresses four main topics: product, price, promotion and place.
Sample business plans illustrate how a manufacturing business, a service provider, and a retail establishment will tailor their business plans to the unique characteristics and markets of their differing business types.
You should treat your business plan as a dynamic document that should be kept current as your business evolves. This involves a periodic review of the plan to factor in actual business results, changing business environment, new competitors, and other factors. The timing and frequency of the updates should be considered.
Your business plan can provide substantial benefits, including the opportunity to obtain financing, a working calendar for getting your business started, and a yardstick against which you can measure your business's progress. Tracking appropriate performance criteria against your business plan involves gathering and compiling performance information to help you meet or exceed your goals and objectives.
When you develop a business plan, financial projections and cash flow analysis are among the most critical elements. New and existing businesses that need financing will have to demonstrate the profit potential of the enterprise in order to convince a lender to provide needed funding.
The action plan explains how you will operate and manage your business. It also addresses the back office activities that don't relate directly to providing goods or services to customers.
Most business plans are somewhat formulaic, conforming to unwritten standards (read that to mean copying whatever worked before). Unless there is good reason to deviate from the standard, conforming to the formula is one more thing you can do to establish yourself as an astute business person.
Writing a business plan involves creating a well-organized document that includes a description of your product or service, marketing plans defining your target market, financial projections, and the other essential elements that make up a high-quality business plan.
'Protecting Trade Secrets' discusses the current definition of business trade secrets, how the judicial system enforces them, and how best to protect them in your own business, including the use of patents, copyrights, trademarks, non-disclosure agreements and non-compete agreements.