Business plan

10 personal attributes to check before writing your business plan

Most business advisors I know will say that writing a business plan is the first step to starting your own business, but I think a better first step is to do a self-analysis of your true drivers. , strengths and assumptions before you commit. way of life. As a result, you may adjust your plan or decide that running your own business isn’t the dream you thought it might be.

For example, if you see starting a business as a get-rich-quick solution, or if you’re trying to escape a boss, or if you hate taking risks, you probably don’t need the stress of write and try to sell a business plan. to tell you to look for other alternatives. Consider the following principles and how they apply to you as you conduct your reality check:

1. First identify your passion and list the alternatives to get there.

For an inventor, product is everything, and managing cash flow in a business can be the least satisfying part. Working for an existing well-funded business or pursuing your dream as a hobby can be more satisfying and productive. You can’t really succeed in life if you’re not happy.

2. Assess your resources and funding sources.

You may dream of developing new silicon chip technology, but a little research should tell you that most disruptive solutions require billions in investment and more time than you can afford. Maybe you should find a satisfying challenge that’s more affordable and less painful.

3. Lead from your strengths and interests rather than hearsay.

People are quick to point out easy opportunities, but looking attractive and being attractive are two different things. Trust your ideas and if you have to ask others for business ideas, I recommend that you stay where you are until you are certain of your idea and your solution.

4. Assess whether the desired opportunity is new or old.

If an opportunity has been around for a long time, it has probably been taken many times, with poor results. I recommend that you look for new or emerging opportunities in new markets. Time is of the essence in business, so responding quickly with a solution always improves your chances.

5. Calibrate your ability to stand out from competitors and imitators.

In business, there will always be someone with more money, a better location, or more resources, ready to take your idea and rush you. You need intellectual property, such as a patent, trade secret, or process expertise, that will be a hurdle you can defend against.

6. Evaluate your relationships, both social media and financially.

If you don’t have social media followers, influencer connections, or business advisors, you’re unlikely to get help with a new business plan. More important than a business plan may be early networking, a website and blog, and building relationships with key industry experts.

7. Test a solution prototype before creating a business plan.

Successful businesses are built around solutions that work, have a market, and scale. Many of the business plans I see are built around a dream, with idealistic costs, margins, and customer demand. Temper your passion with reviews of a minimum viable product before committing.

8. Check your tolerance for risk, uncertainty and change.

Starting and growing a business requires you to be comfortable, even excited, by the challenges of the unknown. If you see a business plan as a way to eliminate uncertainty, you shouldn’t create one because it will almost immediately be outdated. Every business is a work in progress.

9. Calculate your need to acquire the missing required skills.

Every successful business should focus on providing solutions, business management and customer service. It is possible to partner with others to supplement your skills, but you should consider taking the time now to gain experience in these areas, or further your education, before starting a plan.

10. Test your physical, mental and emotional stability for the trip.

New entrepreneurs often fail by neglecting their physical, mental and emotional health. You need to be sure you can handle mental and emotional stress, find time for family, and balance non-work social and physical activities.

In reality, a business plan is best used to validate and solidify the principles and assumptions described here for your situation, as well as to communicate them to investors, your team, and other stakeholders. The thinking and writing involved is best done by you, rather than an expert third party. Starting and running a business is a very personal thing, so make sure you’re prepared.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.


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