Welcome to the new year 2020 in the Freedom Friday blog. We're starting a brand new series today, which is called “10 Steps to Starting a Small Business in Oklahoma.” Each week we will present the next step in starting a small business in Oklahoma. Many people have a goal of starting a new business in the new year, and if you're interested in starting a small business, this series is for you.
The first step of starting a business is not choosing a business name, although we will talk about that later, and it's not forming your LLC (or other business entity), and we'll talk about that later, too. If you want to start a new business, the very first step before anything else is to develop your business plan. If someone comes to me to help them start their small business, the first thing I will ask them is if they have a business plan. As much as I want to help them, it is very important to have a business plan, and you shouldn't look for a business name or form an LLC without a business plan first. Now, your business plan doesn't have to stay the same once you get started. Personally, I have changed my business plan after I started my law firm, and my business plan continues to be modified over time, and that's OK. Your business plan can and will change, too. The important thing is you NEED to have a business plan to get started.
The next question is how do I draft a business plan for my small business? A business plan is a road map to help guide you along while you start and grow your business. It can be modified and changed as your goals change. There is a lot of information online about how to develop a business plan, including free templates. I want to share with you the five essentials that you should include in your business plan:
1. Executive Summary
Before I explain what an executive summary is, this is actually the last section of the business plan you should draft. This section will go before all the other sections of the business plan, but it should be written last. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but you can't really draft an executive summary until you draft the other sections of your business plan. So, what is an executive summary? An executive summary highlights the best ideas and most important aspects of your business. It is a summary of everything else in your business plan. It is also very important if you are seeking investors or a business loan to finance your small business.
2. Industry Analysis
An industry analysis will show what the market looks like in your small business's industry, who your competitors are, along with their strengths and weaknesses, who your target audience is along with their demographic, and lastly, who you are going to be targeting with your new small business.
3. Marketing Analysis
A marketing analysis describes how you plan to market and promote your small business along with the various marketing channels you are going to use, along with any unique ideas you may have for marketing your small business.
4. Operations Plan
The operations plan will include information as to what type of personnel you are planning to hire (if any), and some of the processes you will follow in the execution of your business. Your operations plan should also include milestones or goals you hope to accomplish, e.g. if you wish to reach a certain milestone or goal by the first or second year.
5. Financial Plan
Lastly, you need to include a financial plan as part of your business plan. The financial plan will highlight your budget, how much money you're starting with, and how much money you think you need in order to get your small business going. The financial plan should also include some projections, such as how much revenue your business could make in a given point in time, and how much your business would need to spend in terms of expenses during that time. You should also include information on pricing, i.e. how you will price your products or services, and how that pricing compares to some of your competitors' pricing.
If you are interested in starting a small business anywhere in Oklahoma, or if you have a small business and you are looking to grow, please feel free to contact me at [email protected]. For more information about Liberty Legal Solutions, LLC, please visit our website http://www.libertylegalok.com.
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