Embarking on building a new venture is jumping into the unknown. You may have an idea of why you want to take the journey, but less of an idea of what you will encounter.
Building a business plan, a map of action, allows you to think through four fundamental questions as guideposts along your journey:
- What will the vision and focus of your business be?
- How will you build relationships with customers and develop markets?
- How can you understand and find the financial and human resources you will need?
- What is the most effective course of implementation and action?
Starting a venture is the ultimate self-challenge, so give yourself every advantage — be prepared! Angela Sanchez, founder of Artyfactos, advises new entrepreneurs to build a clear business plan and test ideas with knowledgable people with depth of experience.
“Finding out what others have tried and the obstacles they faced helps enormously,” she says. “Secondly, the most important thing you can do is to talk with and listen to what customers really want and need. Customer needs and desires are the secret to success in shaping your business model.”
Writing a business action plan gets you closer to the starting line of your journey to building a model that clearly illustrates the structure of your business and how operations will work, allowing you to look ahead and optimize performance. Maintaining close connections and building relationships with your customers, suppliers, and other business partners is key to success.
Once you open your business, the pressure is on!
Give yourself every advantage by having a clearly articulated business model as a map to guide you to success.
Build your knowledge of how others have started their ventures by going to innovation community gatherings such as entrepreneurship events at colleges and at start-up accelerators.
Think carefully through the four parts of a business plan and have your business model laid out before you open the doors of your business.
Fortune favors the prepared!
“The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses” is quick guide to innovating for new ventures, by Eric Reis.
“Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers” by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, who invented the “Business Model Canvas,” a one page outline for a business model.
U.S. Small Business Association, Office of Entrepreneurial Development