In this episode of The Small Business Show, we are joined by Melinda Emerson, America’s top small business expert, CEO of Quintessence Group, and best-selling author. We will be discussing the importance of creating a solid business plan for your small business.
1. It is highly recommended to start planning 12 months before launching your business. During this time, it’s crucial to research, speak with the right people, save money and most importantly understand who your paying customer will be.
2. The first thing you should include in your business plan is the reason behind why you want to start this business. Your purpose, values and mission should guide this decision.
3. When it comes to financing your business, banks are less likely to lend money to startups so most startups rely on personal savings or alternative funding options such as crowdfunding or grants.
4. Consider how your business will operate and determine whether you have the necessary skills or if you need to work for another similar business first before launching your own. Emerson also suggests that some people may need to work for another company before starting their own to gain a clear understanding of their plan.
5. Finally, it’s essential to understand your marketing plan and target audience. Know where your potential customers go and what they like then build your marketing strategy accordingly. Emerson advises that if you can’t differentiate yourself from competitors then potential customers will likely go towards a bigger brand name instead of yours