Welcome to the new year 2023 in the Freedom Friday blog and email newsletter. We're starting the year with a special series, “10 Steps to Take Your Small Business to the Next Level in 2023.” Many of our clients at Liberty Legal Solutions, LLC, already have a small business, and they want to grow in the new year. Beginning this week, and for the next nine weeks that follow, I want to share something practical that you as a small business owner can implement in taking your small business to the next level.
The first step to take your small business to the next level is to revisit your business plan. If you don't have a business plan, it's never too late to create one. If someone comes to me who wants to start a new business, the first thing I will often ask is if they have a business plan. Your business plan doesn't have to stay the same once you get started. Personally, I've changed the business plan for my law firm, and my business plan continues to change and evolve over time, and that's OK. Your business plan will also change, too.
So, how do you revise your business plan or create one if you don't have one already? A business plan is a roadmap 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. In today's Freedom Friday blog and email newsletter, I want to share with you the five (5) essentials that need to be included in your business plan:
The first essential that needs to be included in your business plan is the executive summary. What is the executive summary? This should actually be the last section you write of your business plan, and while it is the introduction to your business plan, you need to write it out last. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but you can't draft a good executive summary until you draft the other sections of your business plan. Your executive summary will highlight the best ideas and most important aspects of your business. It is also very important if you're seeking investors or applying for a loan to finance your small business.
The second essential that needs to be included in your business plan is the industrial analysis. An industrial analysis shows what the market is like in the industry for your small business, who your competitors are, their strengths and weaknesses, who your target audience is along with its demographic, and lastly, who you're going to target with your small business.
The third essential that needs to be included in your business plan is the marketing analysis. A marketing analysis shows how you plan to market and promote your small business along with the various marketing channels you're going to use, and any unique ideas you might have for marketing your small business.
The fourth essential that needs to be included in your business plan is the operations plan. The operations plan includes information as to what type of personnel you're planning to hire (if any), and some of the processes you will follow in executing your small business. Your operations plan should also include benchmarks or goals you hope to accomplish, e.g., if you wish to reach certain goals by the first or second year, or in 5 or 10 years, etc.
The fifth essential that needs to be included in your business plan is your financial plan. The financial plan includes your budget, how much money you're starting with, and how much money you think you need to get your small business going, or if you're revising your business plan, how much money you think you need to reach your next goal. A financial plan should also include projections, like how much revenue your small business could make in a given point in time, and how much money your business would need to spend on 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 will compare to that of your competitors.
Thinking about starting a small business? Or maybe your small business is having issues with contracts, leases, business partners, collection issues, or experiencing other barriers to growth? Please contact me at [email protected] to schedule a FREE strategy session.
For more information about Liberty Legal Solutions, LLC, please visit our website at http://www.libertylegalok.com/