When you’ve got some good business ideas and are looking to start up your own business to either work from home or from a small office, you’ll find you’ve also come to the same decision as many people who’ve become disillusioned with the dream of building a steady career with the security of knowing that if they work hard, they will retire with a healthy pension and a watch – those days are long gone. There is no security in a steady 9-5 job anymore – because often there isn’t a steady 9-5 job in the first place.
In an attempt to keep their heads above water, employers of large firms are putting huge pressure on their employees to work longer and longer hours for less and less pay – I have heard of so many people who have been told that if they want to continue in their employment, then they need to reapply for their ‘job’ and expect a lower pay if successful! Of course, the truth is often covered up with excuses that ‘your position is no longer available but there is this other one that we have’ routine. It just doesn’t seem fair for those loyal employees who suddenly find them self fighting for their livelihoods against a much younger, less-experienced candidate who costs less to hire.
But the good news is that small and medium-sized businesses are becoming the lifeblood of the economy. They are employing people and generating national wealth that the public sector and larger companies are struggling to compete with. Business start ups and entrepreneurs are becoming more and more supported not only by government bodies but also by their own friends and family who often give up their own time and invest what they can financially to see that the new enterprise is a successful venture.
It’s not wise though to suddenly dive into a great business idea without taking the time out to create a detailed business plan – unfortunately this is the point where a lot of fledgling business owners and entrepreneurs come unstuck. Don’t be one of them!
Take a look online and you’ll see numerous websites and guides devoted to writing business plans and your local bookstore will also have more than their fair share sitting on the bookshelves. These are of enormous help but there is no need to get overwhelmed in thinking that your business plan needs to be almost an encyclopaedia sized book. There is absolutely no need to make the process any more difficult than it should be. The first and most important question that you should be asking yourself is ‘Who are you writing the business plan for?’
If you need funding for your project, you need to be writing with that in mind – what would a potential investor be looking for? No doubt they will need a Revenue Projection to include sales forecasts and costs, but they also want to see how well you’ve planned the whole idea out; they want to know how confident you are that the business will succeed before they put their trust in you. If you’re wishy washy with the ideas and numbers then don’t be surprised if they say ‘no’ and walk away.
If you don’t need funding, it’s still a good idea to write out your plan – after all, you need to know where you are going or you are not going to know when you have got there! If you intend to keep your business small and simple, a one page business plan may be all that you need with a small and concise outline of what you want for your business under the following headings: Vision, Mission, Objectives, Strategies and Actions.
And even if you do need to write something with more detail, this simple one page business plan is a great thing to have in a visual position as you sit at your desk – it keeps you motivated and on track.