The four step guide to a successful startup business plan

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It’s easy to overthink business.  With such a diverse methodology, the business world can quickly become a creativity battleground where only the most prepared for success survive.  So, how do you prepare yourself to enter the fight?

Every successful business starts with a well thought out plan of attack.  Though the fine details of your business will depend on your company culture, product, and market angle, you can revolve your business plan around 4 key players found in every successful business plan.

Let’s take a look at these 4 key players of a successful business plan, and how you can focus your product before you even hit the eyes of the market.

Create

It all starts with your creative side and business foresight.  You’ve found an untapped market or found an amazing hole in a market that is washed with the same stores in different clothing, and it’s time to bring your idea to life. 

Whether it’s a product or service, make sure it works.  At the end of the day, the best product on the market is going to win, so make sure it’s yours.  Do comparison test against the competition, and avoid the mistakes they have made in the past.  Your product should be the future, and not just a stagnant competitor. 

The secret to creating a healthy business is market research before the business is even made. 

Create a healthy report that is filled with information about your market that really helps you decide if you should even take the next step with your plan, or stop before you become attached to an idea that is guaranteed to fail.

Take a look at your product’s competition, and measure your barriers of entry for your market.  If your idea is one-of-a-kind, double check it by making sure a market does exist for what you want to do.  This can be done with surveys, networking and general market analysis tactics. 

Focus

So you have decided to move forward with your business venture, and you truly believe you can revolutionize, or create, an industry that needs to be thrust into the public eye.  Realizing the potential for a market is just step one in your success story.  Now it’s time to focus on what your product can do for people.

Really take the time to perfect how you talk about your product or service before you even step foot into the public eye because harsh starting reviews can sink even the best ideas before they have a chance.  Look at your product or service from a customer point of view to refine how your talk about your product. 

A potential buyer is looking for one thing, a solution.  So look at what problem your business will solve, and talk about it from a solution based ideology.  This generates value to your customers when you communicate with them in a solution based manner, and helps your marketing team target the right customers for you business by stressing your solutions to their pain points with content.  If you can speak to their problems and provide a solution, they are ready to fall in love with your company.

Branding

Branding is the tricky beast to tackle, but it’s the most important part of your business venture.  It’s people’s first impression of a brand, and it tells customers 70% of what they will think about your brand in fractions of a second. 

Let’s start with logos because they are often your first line of communication with a potential customer.  A great logo can draw a person to a brand and a bad one can make sure they never give it a chance.  Create a logo that speaks to your solution, but doesn’t overwhelm the customer.  You can get an idea for logos that work in your industry by simply looking at the industry leader’s logos.

Looking to the industry leader’s serves another purpose, too.  Colors.  Seriously, the colors you use in your branding can really make a difference because different colours evoke different emotions. 

See what your competition is using, and really take the time to find appealing colors that translate your message to your customers.

Five year budget

Having your finances in order is the best way to keep track of your business budget and create a plan of attack for the five year make it or break it point.  Putting your expenses down on a spreadsheet will help you start to get a realistic view of your business potential too.  Seeing what it takes to create your product, with operational costs included of course, will help you get a realistic idea of what you need to be successful and grow. 

Many business ventures fail because they fail to take a realistic view at their operational costs, and their great sales still lead to losses instead of growth.  Really think about your equipment cost, building cost, operational costs, and other costs your business will incur along the way.  Having a firm understanding of your overall operational costs will help you create proper pricing for your services, and it’s the only thing you can do to ensure an idea can have true business growth through realistic numbers.

Boosting your startup’s potential for success

Having tons of documentation, details, and information about your business before starting a venture is the best way to find success.  This is especially true when you are looking to secure an sba loans for your venture.  Honestly, after creating your full plan and understanding what it takes to operate and grow, why wouldn’t you look for a loan. 

You know what to ask for because you know your startup cost and have your 5 year plan to show your business potential.  That kind of preparation is exactly what the banks look for in a loan opportunity, and having that kind of capital to start your venture means you can take every step according to your plan.

What’s a good plan without the proper financial backing?  Dead in the water.

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