In this episode of The Small Business Show, we will be delving into the world of creating a solid business plan with Melinda Emerson, one of America’s top small business experts, CEO of Quintessence Group, and best-selling author.
Melinda emphasizes that planning 12 months before launching your business is crucial. During this time, you should research, speak to the right people, save money and most importantly understand your target customer. To create an effective business plan, it’s essential to start with the purpose behind why you want to start this business. Your values and mission should be evident in your decision-making process.
The second step is figuring out how you will finance your business. Banks are less likely to lend money to startups; therefore, most startups rely on personal savings. It’s also important to determine how your business will operate and identify the skills you need to succeed. Emerson advises that some entrepreneurs may need to work for a similar company before starting their own to gain a clear understanding of their vision.
The final step is developing a marketing plan and identifying your target audience. You must understand where potential customers go and what they like so that you can build an effective marketing strategy accordingly. Emerson reminds entrepreneurs that if they cannot differentiate their business from their competitors, they risk losing potential customers to well-known brands. Realistic sales projections are also crucial; a 20% increase is still an aggressive goal that can help develop an annual budget on an annual basis. However, it’s important not to include any trade secrets or patented ideas in your business plan as it can compromise your intellectual property rights.
In conclusion, creating a solid business plan takes time and effort but is essential for success in the long run. By following these steps and listening to experts like Melinda Emerson, entrepreneurs can increase their chances of success in building a thriving small business venture.
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