When an entrepreneur starts their first business, one of their priorities is writing a business plan, but it can be difficult to know what to include and what to leave out if you’ve never done one before. This initial business plan is the foundation for the successful business to come, so it’s important to create the best plan that you can. A recent article in Entrepreneur magazine gave tips on how to create a business plan. Here, Justin Cobb reviews the article, and reveals how he’s recently updated his own plan.
“Writing a business plan is an essential part of starting a business, but that doesn’t mean it can then be forgotten about”, said public speaker and entrepreneur Justin Cobb. “It should be reviewed and updated on an annual basis, and at times that significant change is happening in a business. My business has recently expanded into New York, so I’ve recently had to update my full business plan.”
The classic business plan consists of up to seven sections, these are: the executive summary which lays out briefly what your business aims to achieve and how it’s going to achieve it, the management section, the product section, and then the industry, marketing, operations and financial forecast sections. Having a thorough understanding of all of these sections will take some time, but it ensures that your business gets off to a great start.
A business plan can be seen as an entrepreneurial road map. It shows where you started and where you want to get to, and gives pointers on how to get there. It not only acts as motivation for you, and your workers, it can be used to show potential investors that you are serious about your business, and that you are capable of delivering exactly what you promise. In that sense, the business plan is itself a powerful example of marketing material. By putting your thoughts, goals, and calculations down on paper, it can also help you take a new look at your business, and see things you may otherwise have missed.
“The business plan is very important, but it’s not something that you should panic about”, said Justin Cobb. “There’s plenty of help available through excellent articles like that in Entrepreneur, online, and via business mentors. A good business plan gives you clarity and direction, and leads to a bright and successful future.”
In his role as a much sought after public speaker, Justin Cobb has helped many entrepreneurs find their own paths to business success, whether they’re new or experienced.