Startup Business Plan Tips
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail,” said none other than Benjamin Franklin. Running a business is no different. So, you need to develop an effective startup business plan to set you up for success.
Business is not something that you just build and expect mountains of revenue to come your way. When you start visualizing the things you want your business to have, it becomes overwhelming. Scenarios start to play nearing the point when it inclines towards being too idealistic. While it’s not wrong, it requires an equivalent pacifier that meets expectations halfway with reality. That is where a business plan comes into play.
Startups shouldn’t escape this step as well. When creating a startup business plan, entrepreneurs should ensure that each move is properly lined up. Speaking things into existence won’t do the trick without applying appropriate action. Moreover, a business that creates relevant plans is always bound for success.
To effectively create a successful business plan, one must consider important elements. Such things include the following points.
- Legal requirements
- Capital and finances
- Organization and resources
- Marketing, and
- Exit plan
These are the most important areas that an entrepreneur needs to cover in business planning. Before going to the deep end, make sure to attend to all legal responsibilities. Then figure out how you’re going to secure and budget the funds properly. Finally, it’s going to take you and some people to deploy your business out in the market and start earning. And though careful planning helps you avoid failing, there should be an exit plan if ever that happens.
Do’s and Don’ts of Creating a Startup Business Plan
Complying with the requirements of building a startup business is just the first step. To be successful in your business, you need all elements to work harmoniously by creating a business plan. In doing so, there are yays and nays you need to look out for. Learn about them in the following business planning tips.
In this section, you’ll learn more about what you have to do when creating a business plan. Be careful not to overlook the following tips because they can elevate your planning strategies further.
Be ready and stay ready for challenges and opportunities that are to come. Starting a startup is not a walk in the park; it’s a walk in the jungle. There will be sacrifices you need to make to make things happen. You are going to burn most, if not all, of your savings to keep your business afloat. Above all, mentally and emotionally prepare yourself for what’s going to be a thrilling ride.
Validate your concept or product.
How do you validate your product or service? Why can’t it be just something you come up with and sell? First, there are multiple ways to validate your product or service. Second, a great idea that doesn’t serve any purpose should remain an idea.
To validate your product, you can ask yourself certain questions about what problem it solves. You can also look into the market to verify if such a need or demand exists. Moreover, you can simply look at your competitors and identify your similarities and contrasts. Through these ways, you’ll be able to confirm that your product is valid and your ideas poured into it are not a waste.
Be willing to learn, adapt, and pivot.
One of the greatest startup founders, Steve Jobs, said it best: Stay hungry, stay foolish. When you think you know everything about what goes into delivering your product out of the door, you don’t. A willingness to learn and enhance your industry proficiency could go a long way. It could even help you unravel essential things about your product that you didn’t know.
Additionally, learn to adapt to trends that improve the way you do things. Whether it’s on technology or marketing tools, allow yourself to explore and apply as necessary. When met with uncertainties or presented with new information, pivot to a direction that best fits your situation.
Seek help when you need it.
Look for help when setting up your business to focus more on your product traction and sales. This tip is especially helpful when you need startup funding. You can look for angel investors that will help finance your startup. Leverage your offline and online networks of people who can assist you in areas you lack expertise in. Moreover, seek industry veterans who can mentor you in your startup journey.
Refine your branding and your product.
Before broadcasting your brand, make sure that you have refined your message that embodies what you have to offer. Establish this properly to make an impression of who you are as a business and what you can do.
Similarly, apply the same principles to your product or service. Make it a point to identify the whats and hows of your product. Do you feel the need to create an MVP? Make one. Anything that helps you build your brand and solidify your product goes a long way when you proceed with marketing.
Prepare your pitch.
Part of marketing is pitching your product to different types of people. Whether they’re investors or potential customers, make sure that you have a pitch ready at the top of your head. So when it comes to casual networking or presentations with pitch decks and a boardroom, you are ready to sell.
Always beware of startup business planning mishaps that you could commit. When you don’t watch out for potential risks, the probability of failure is higher. So, watch out for the following no-no’s.
Planning is paramount to effectively running a business. When you skip planning and surrender it all to the universe, prepare for a nosedive. So never underestimate the power of a sound plan. There will be consequences, and you don’t want to deal with those if your goal is to succeed.
Be afraid of new technology.
As mentioned above, never stop learning and adapting. This could be as simple as scheduling your social media marketing posts. There are tools out there that you can use to improve your processes.
In that sense, never be afraid to adapt to technological trends, especially if they can drastically improve your business. Need a website as a customer portal? Hire software developers to build it for you. Technology is there to help, after all.
Fail to identify your audience/customers.
You can’t shoot multiple arrows at the same time and expect them to hit your desired target. This is the same thing with marketing without a target audience. One of the most important marketing strategies is identifying your customers. It could be through creating a buyer persona or research and data gathering. Regardless, the goal is to gauge a target at which you’re going to broadcast your marketing message.
Overspend or underspend.
Part of a proper startup business plan is a concrete itemization of cash inflows and outflows. Focus on creating a budget plan and sticking to it until the last cent.
Do it alone.
As much as we want to, we can’t be a person in a red cape who can do superhuman things. So, plan your business and ask help your network, mentors, and even family and friends. Collaboration is essential in business. Reaching out for help in times of need is commonplace.
One place to look at is the rising startup community. There you can find people who share the same challenges and goals as you. Furthermore, they could also become integral in planning your business.
Full Scale founders, Matt DeCoursey and Matt Watson, foster such an environment. They created Full Scale to provide software and marketing help for startup companies fast and affordably. Based in Kansas City, KS, we have worked with many startup businesses to achieve their dreams.
Get a free consultation today and get those gears grinding to plan a successful startup business!