Entrepreneurs know there are several steps to business formation, but putting together a comprehensive business plan doesn’t always have to be difficult.
Talking to potential customers and industry experts is one easy way business owners can begin organizing ideas and come up with a business plan, writes the business coach at Entrepreneur.com.
Tim Berry also says that a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) doesn’t need to be a scientific theory, but sometimes just a fun activity. He recommends brainstorming with a group of stakeholders and not arguing over which category ideas should be placed in. Simply writing down ideas will stimulate discussion and thought.
Berry also notes that “imagining” a customer helps a business owner discover a direction to take. Imagining what an “ideal customer’s” profile is – job, hobbies, demographic, favorite movie, etc. – can help formulate the best way to approach potential customers.
Finally, Berry says that dreaming is where everything starts. He suggests envisioning where the company will be in two, five and 10 years.
For additional assistance, experts at the many U.S. Small Business Administration Development Centers offer free advice when crafting a business plan, as well as help in obtaining financing.