Startup Step One: Create a Business Plan
Before you think about marketing, before you think about financing, before you think about what to display in your store window… you need a business plan.
Your business plan should include the following elements:
- Executive summary
- Description of the business and its products and services
- Organizational chart and management structure
- Personal financial statements for all principals
- Financial plan
- Marketing plan
- Operational plan
The time and effort required to craft a thorough business plan is essential to helping entrepreneurs research their business and their market objectively. Allocate ample time for research and be willing to make changes.
The business plan you create as you start your business is a “living document.” Because you are projecting several years ahead, you will revise and update your business plan regularly in response to performance, economic changes, and other factors.
Local resources available to individuals considering starting a business include the Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center and the local chapter of SCORE. SCORE also has templates and worksheets to get you started.