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Creating a business plan (and 3 things you should consider)

It Starts with an Idea

All good businesses start with a concept or idea, but sometimes your idea doesn't make the money that you imagined. The idea may need some slight adjustment or even a major overhaul. What seems like a good idea one day may not be such a good idea after time passes. Remember, the marketplace changes constantly. To be successful in business you must always keep coming up with new ideas.

Look Before You Leap

Before you take your idea to the next stage of development, it's crucial to analyze it from all possible angles to make sure you've thought of all possible scenarios. There's a lot of information and research available to you on market trends and other issues. A failed business can cost you a lot of time and money; it pays to do your homework.

Preparing a Plan

The final step before launching into action is to create a thorough business plan. This plan should be a summary of what you want to achieve with your business.

A well-written business plan can be very helpful to you on many levels. Firstly, it allows you to accurately determine the amount of money you'll need to start your venture and when you'll need it. It will also help you to set short and long-term goals. These goals can be invaluable while getting started, and can also act as a reference guide to see if your business is on track as time passes.

A solid business plan makes it easier for potential investors or lenders to see that you are organized and have thought things through completely. This demonstrates that you have good business management skills and are therefore a much safer bet with their money.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, a business plan allows you to identify your market, your customers and your competition. It can help you gain a competitive advantage and determine what strategies will drive your success.

Related Article: When’s the best time to write a business plan?

Writing a business plan is an essential part of building a successful business. At its core, a business plan is a road map for your project: it establishes your purpose, it sets goals and expectations, and it forecasts the relationship between cost and revenue.

After Your Business Plan: 3 things you should consider

You have an idea and a plan to make it profitable. But there are countless legal issues involved in starting a business and the choices you make can be the difference between success and failure.

Protecting Your Ideas

You probably know that it's essential to get a Patent for any invention that will be exclusive to your business. You may also need a Trademark, Copyright or Industrial Design to protect any original words, symbols, photographs, etc. Make sure you legally protect all of your ideas from being copied by others.

The Three Types of Business

The next step is to decide on, and develop, the type of business that's best for your idea. The simplest kind of business to set up is a proprietorship. This is where you are the only person involved. You run the business and you keep all profits and assume all losses. It's an inexpensive way to begin, but it can be difficult to raise start-up capital if you do need it.

A partnership may work better for your project. It's a good way for two or more people to combine abilities and knowledge to run a business. A partnership agreement needs to be established, but it's still fairly easy to set up, and there can be additional sources of money to rely on.

Incorporation is the most expensive and most difficult type of business to start. The advantages, once it's set up, are the ease of getting capital and the possibility of being involved while maintaining limited liability.

Buy-Sell Agreement

What happens to your business if you pass away? A buy-sell agreement enables the business you start to keep going. It can ensure that your family will not be burdened with outrageous taxes and that the money they were counting on from the business will be there for them to use in the future.

You'll need an attorney to help you set up a buy-sell agreement. In fact, it's strongly suggested that you talk to a lawyer before making any of these major decisions about starting your new business.

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Up Next: Three key advisors important to the success of your business

It is very important all three of your advisors know each other and discuss your plans to ensure they are all working towards the common goal: helping your business to succeed.
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