There’s never been a better time than now to turn your dream of business ownership into a reality. Self-employment has been trending up for the last four years and small firms have accounted for 8.7 million net new private-sector jobs since 2005.
If you’re ready to take the next step and become a small business owner, jot down your ideas on paper and start writing your business plan. Just as you would follow a GPS to navigate an unknown journey, you’ll want to have a plan to help guide you along the road of small business ownership.
This December, we’re celebrating National Write a Business Plan Month and encouraging you to take the first – and most important – step on your entrepreneurial journey. Here are a few things to consider before you get started.
A Roadmap to Success
Think of your business plan as a roadmap to success. It’s a living document that should guide you through the startup stage and prime your business for successful growth. It can also help you obtain funding by highlighting why your business is a valuable investment. Show potential partners that you’ve thought through your business concept and you’re confident in your idea.
Choose the Right Business Plan Format for You
There’s no standard, single way to create a business plan. Some business owners pursue a traditional business plan format, which is often several pages and includes multiple sections. While this format takes more time to write, it is comprehensive and commonly requested by lenders and investors. Traditional business plans are ideal for the detail-oriented entrepreneur. You’ll want to include sections that make the most sense for your business and needs, which could include an executive summary, company description, market analysis, and financial projections.
If you’re looking to start your business quickly or planning to update and refine your plan, you should consider a lean, more streamlined startup format for your business plan. This format is comprised of easy-to-read charts that describe your company’s value, proposition, target customers, and more. You’ll focus more on visualizing facts about your company instead of using words to make your point.
No matter which format you choose, be sure that your business plan includes the key elements you personally need to keep your company on track for success.
Dive Right In
You don’t have to wait to get started on your plan. These resources can help you put pen to paper and get you started on your journey to start, grow, or expand your business today:
- Review SBA’s Business Planning Guide. We created a plan to help you with your plan. Follow our easy-to-use online guide to ensure your business plan is on the right track.
- Get hands-on guidance from a counselor or mentor from your local Small Business Development Center, Women’s Business Center, or SCORE.
Write or update your business plan this National Write a Business Plan Month, and start 2020 on solid ground.