How do I plan for my business?

To satisfy yourself that your idea can be turned into a successful business, you should go through a simple planning process before you start.

In this overview we will look at your product or service, sales and marketing as well as key topics like accounting, expenses and tax. We end with a short look at IT and online tools.

If you record your reasoning in a plan, you can use it later to help manage the business and get additional resources.

Financial planning is essential and you need to know how much money it is going to cost to start and run the business and balance that against how much you expect to earn.

Only you can determine how much you need to live on while the company is in the start-up and customer acquisition period. Also, how much you want to make over and above your living costs is a family issue – we have looked at this in business planning.

Our business planning module has been designed to help you plan your business and covers the following topics:

  • Your vision.
  • About your Business.
  • About you.
  • Your products and services.
  • The market opportunity.
  • Your start-up costs.
  • The competition.
  • The strengths and weaknesses.
  • Your Marketing plan.
  • Your financial projections.
  • Your Back-up plan.

We will help you identify how much you need to earn to maintain your standard of living – we have a useful guide to do this in the course. Then, as its difficult to estimate how much you could earn and how much it might cost, we have some ‘my view’ stories and hints and tips from a solo consultant and a small building firm to ‘keep it real’.

As you’re reading this, you’ve already considered starting your own business. Remember it may be financially ‘safer’ and more prudent to be employed, but it is far less personally rewarding for those that succeed.

Also in preparation for your planning work, you need to think about a few other aspects of your business:

  • Are there any rules and licenses I need to think about during you business planning?
  • Have I a unique idea and how can I avoid getting copied?
  • Do I have a ‘brand’ concept I want to protect?
  • How do I avoid any risk of a ‘trade conflict’ over my business?

You will need to determine your business options by assessing what the market and competition looks like for your chosen business and region.

If you’re up for it then press on with this introduction.