Starting Your Own Business: Formulate a Plan

by Shenron on October 22, 2009

Over the course of the next few weeks we will be adding multiple parts to a full series that guides you through all the steps of starting your own business. Today we’re going to start from the bottom and eventually work our way up to the top. The first installment of the overall segment is “Formulate a Plan.” A plan is quintessential to succeeding with your own business so having everything outlined from the beginning is the best way to ensure a higher probability of success. We can’t guarantee that your pet food store will be the next big sensation, but we can help you prepare the best way possible so you have a good shot.

Formulate a Plan Starting Your Own Business: Formulate a Plan

1. Idea: For the rest of this article we’re going to assume you already have an idea of what you want to do with your business. If you don’t know what you want to do and just want to break free from your boss, no problem. Write some things down that you would like to work on and come back here when you’re ready to go.

2. Market Research: For all intents and purposes, let’s say you DO want to start the next great pet store. You’re going to need to do some market research before you commit to anything. See where the other pet food stores in your area are located and figure out why they are where they are. Do you live in a college town? Near an old-folks community? Is there a lack of pet food stores in your area, creating an opening for you to jump in? Hell, you could even ask shoppers coming out of PetsMart or something similar why they shop where they do. I wouldn’t advise doing it too much simply because it may be construed as soliciting, but a little research goes a long way.

3. Manage Time: If you’re serious about starting a business you’re going to need to set some time for yourself to work. Design your schedule so that, for instance, from 12-1 you are going to look online for property in the area that would be a suitable business front. From 1-3 you will research the costs involved with ordering products each week and keeping your inventory full. For the first few weeks you’re going to have to get used to changing your schedule around a lot so you can accommodate all of the business needs.

Formulate a Plan 5 Starting Your Own Business: Formulate a Plan

4. Outline: Once you have all of the information you need to start your business, meaning you have everything from who you’re going to purchase a toilet from to what time you’re going to close your doors every day, write it all down. The average business plan is usually between 30 and 50 pages in length, but there really isn’t a limit or restriction on how long the plan has to be. Once you have your plan written, you can either take it to potential investors or follow it yourself so you know how to move forward.

Stay tuned for the next installment!

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