1. I have a plan: "I love it when aplancomes together!"I loved to watch the A-team. One thing I learned from them: They plan ahead. Maybe the plan is not perfectly executed and maybe the plan changes but they have a common goal. That is the intention of a plan. Help people to focus on the same thing. Determine priorities, necessities, time it takes etc.
In business the plan in not only for yourself but also for those that support you. Not only your employee and family but also possible 3th parties to acquire funding or government approval. There are several thing to keep in mind when planning:
- Write in a way your target audience can understand it. It helps using common templates. When writing for example a business plan there is actual a very common template to follow.
- Divide short-, med- en longterm planning. You can make a 5 year plan but still you need to ask yourself what needs to be done today, tomorrow and next week.
- Reflect you plan. A plan must not be realistic but it also should not only be science fiction. Be realistic but keep your targets and goals high. Give yourself a push but don't kill yourself.
An example of a good businessplan: http://www.allbusinesstemplates.com/template/KXET6/
2. Funding: "No money, no honey"Yes, money does not make people happy but it makes the world turn around. Ensure your have a good understanding how much money you need to start a business and keep it running. Don't fool yourself. Every business needs to make profit. Maybe not today or tomorrow but for sure in about 3 years. And if in 3 years, how you make sure you can run it the next 3 years. Who's going to pay for the losses in the meanwhile? Workout multiple situations and plan for the worse. Also be aware of any hidden costs. When asking for funding you must make a realistic spreadsheet containing all costs and earnings. Asking for to less funding can cause trouble afterwards but asking for too much can cause investors not even to think about funding you.
You will need to write a funding request. This funding request at least needs to contain:
- An outline of your business.
- Your current financial situation.
- How much money you need now and in the future (plan 3~5 years ahead).
- What you are going to do with the money.
- How you are going to pay back the funding.
There are many ways to attract funding nowadays:
- Family: Ask you family. For sure family want to help.
- Banks: banks can help have give you good feedback on your business plan.
- Crowdfunding: angel.co, indiegogo.com, kickstarter.com. Have a look at crowdfunding.com for the full list but also search online. sometimes there are more local platforms.
- Government: Often local governments offer a lot of help when you want to start a business. Go to the city center, check their websites but also look what national government is doing to support start-ups. Also local business centers and groups can help you.
In a few weeks part 2. Then we will be talking about branding, selling and people.