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Archive → October, 2013

Researching Your Business Plan

businessplan

There are many differences between being a Veteran business owner, and a Civilian business owner.  These differences can include, but are not limited to,

  • Military training and mindset
  • Drive to succeed
  • Superior work ethic

One thing that does not differ though is the requirement for all those desiring to open their own business.  The Business Plan.  This sometimes daunting task is a must do for every prospective business owner, and can take some time to get complete and correct, but it is worth it.  As it is this plan that banks look at when considering loans, or potential investors read when deciding whether to back you or not.  It is the single most important part of beginning your business.

When approaching your business plan the first and most important thing to consider, is what business you will be opening.

  • What business would be both a good fit for you and the community you will be doing business in?
  • Is there some niche market missing in your area that you would be able to fill
  • Is it possible that the area you are looking into is already saturated with providers of the service you are looking into providing?

The answers to these questions could be some of the most important answers you will need to know for your fledgling business.  For example: how could you thrive as the new HVAC repair in town, if there are already numerous businesses offering the same services?  You have to find your own unique niche market, something which you can offer that no one else is able to provide.

 

After you have decided what service you are going to provide, it is time to start into deeper market research.  It is very unlikely in any area, that you will have no competitors at all, so this is the time that you need to study up on your competition.

  • What goods and services, does your competition offer?
  • Is there any service which they do not offer that you could?
  • What can you offer they community that they cannot?

Once again you must look into finding that one thing that no one else is willing or able to provide to your community.  Let’s say that you are opening a small bookstore, but there is a Big Box Store near by, who also sells books and at a discounted price.  What can the small business do to compete with this Behemoth?  In this example you could offer better customer service (which is the Number One way to succeed in any business) You could order books for individual customers, showing each that they matter to you.  Learn your repeat customers names, and show them that you care.  Always find the one thing, that makes your business stand out from the crowd, and this is what will set your business apart.

 

imagesNow that you have thought deeper about your business, and researched the market you will be opening in, it’s time to start to put everything down on paper.  Make sure that your plan looks as good, as it reads.  Bound well, even if only in a three ring binder, and printed out. Never hand written. Professionalism is the key.  Good luck out there!  And don’t forget that the more you know about the market and business that you are looking to open, the more perspective investors will sit  up and pay attention.

For complete step by step instructions on building your business plan please visit the Small Business Administration  website.