Welcome to the new year 2021 in the Freedom Friday blog and email newsletter. We're starting a brand-new series today, “10 Steps to Take Your Small Business to the Next Level.” Each week I will present the next step to take your small business to the next level. If you already have a small business or a side hustle, and you want it to grow, this series is for you.
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, your first step is to create one. If someone comes to me who wants to start a small business, the first thing I will ask them is do you have a small business plan? As much as I want to help them, it is very important to have a business plan. 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 change over time, and that's OK. Your business plan can and will change, too.
The next question is how do I revise my business plan, or how do I draft one if I don't have one already? A business plan is a road map to help guide you along while you start and grow your small 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 give you the five (5) essentials that you need to include in your business plan:
1. Executive Summary
What is an executive summary? This should actually be the last section of the 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 really can't draft an executive summary until you draft the other sections of your business plan. Your executive summary will highlight the best ideas and most important aspects your business. It is also very important if you're seeking investors or a busines loan to finance your small business.
2. Industry Analysis
An industry analysis shows what the market looks like in your small business' industry, who your competitors are, along with their strengths and weaknesses, who your target audience is along with their demographic, and lastly, who you're going to target with your small business.
3. 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, along with any unique ideas you might have for marketing your small business.
4. Operations Plan
An 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 milestones or goals you hope to accomplish, e.g. if you wish to reach certain milestone goals by the first or second year, or in 5 or 10 years, etc.
5. Financial Plan
Lastly, your business plan needs to include a 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 it is a revised plan, how much money you need to reach your next goal). A financial plan should also include projections, such as how much revenue your small business could make in a given point in time, and how much your business would need to spend in expenses during that time. You should also include information about pricing, i.e. how you will price your products or services, and how that pricing will compare with your competitors' pricing.
If you are interested in starting a small business anywhere in Oklahoma, or you're interested in taking your small business to the next level, 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/