You have a business idea, and you want to get started – but first you need a business plan. How do you get started? A brainstorm might be the best way, as we explain here. Follow along step by step to get your plan into shape.
Make your mind map
Start with the brainstorm. With your business idea in the middle of the page, draw lines coming away from it and write down all the categories that you need to think about.
These can be what you will make or do, who your customers will be, how you will sell your product or service, where you will sell (online versus physical), and so on.
Write down everything you can think of. You may wish to take a couple of days over this to get every section as full as possible. Even if you write down ideas that you don’t use later, it’s important to put down as much as you can.
Research your ideas
Take the ideas that you have written down and start to do some research. Are there already other businesses operating in your niche? If so, is there room for more? Can you see how successful they are or how many fans they have?
If you can get access to their social media profiles, you may be able to look at their followers and see whether your ideas about your customers are correct.
If your idea has been done so many times before that you won’t be able to bring anything new to the market, consider starting over with a new mind map for a new business idea.
If you think you have found the right idea for your business, spend as much time as possible delving into the market and getting statistics and concrete information.
Research your business
Now that you have decided on your business and you know the market better, start looking into what you need to begin. Do you need any particular licenses?
Equipment, materials, supplies, or stock? Physical premises or an online domain? Look into the cost of all of these things and you can start to build up a picture of the capital you will need to launch your business, as well as the steps you will need to complete to be ready.
Sort your research
Take all of the information that you have gathered, from your mind map to now, and start sorting it into sections.
Group them into market research, sales and fans statistics, financial requirements, legal requirements, objectives, product ideas and research, marketing strategy, suppliers or sources, technology or equipment required with costing, and a financial plan compiling information on what you need to spend to get set up and how much you think you can make over time.
A great way to do this is to print off all of your research and cut it up into different sections, then place them into groups so you can visually see them coming together.
Write the plan
The final step is just to compile your sorted research into full sentences and bridge the gap between each piece of information to create a cohesive and comprehensive business plan.
Since you already know what you want to say and where in the business plan you want to say it, this shouldn’t take long at all!
Doing your business plan this way means that most of the work has been done before you come to write it, which is ideal for those who are daunted by the task. You can find sample business plans online if you need help with formatting.
Corinne Ledling is a businesswoman who’s very passionate about her job. She’s a Content Manager at Bizstats.co.uk and loves to share career tips and tricks.