Why Every Small Business Needs a Detailed Business Plan
Setting up a small business is a relatively easy process. All it takes is a few forms filed with regional government agencies, payment of applicable fees and the selection of an available business name and entity type. However, real business experts know that there is a lot more that goes into starting a new company than filling out the basic paperwork.
What is a Business Plan?
Basically, a business plan is formal written document that outlines how your company will achieve its objectives. Every good business plan includes the overall strategy you will follow to reach key profitability milestones, as well as details for each step of the process. Depending on the size and type of business, your plan may only be a few pages long or extend up to dozens or hundreds of pages in length.
What Should I Include in My Business Plan?
There’s really no limit to what you can include in a business plan. One of the first things to consider are your core processes, which are the policies and strategies your company will use to provide a product or service to clients. The business plan should provide specific information on how you will solve the needs of your clients in a way that provides value to your customers as well as profit for your company.
The written plan should also include your expectations of future growth and how you will scale your operations to meet increasing demand as the business grows. This is essential for capitalizing on the future success of your company as well as methods for avoiding pitfalls that could lead to failure. Think of it as a blueprint or map that guides you through the years ahead.
Don’t Forget to Include Financing in Your Plan
Before you even consider filing for business formation in Canada, you should conduct a careful analysis of the potential costs and investments needed to make your business work. Types of costs can include rent for properties, employee compensation, necessary equipment and transport or delivery costs. It can be very helpful to discuss this with an experienced business financial analyst to ensure your estimates are accurate.
Your plan should also describe your funding goals, how much you need to get started, as well as your strategy for acquiring the necessary capital. While many new business owners invest their personal wealth to get a new company off the ground, this can be a risky and limiting strategy.
Rather than relying solely on investment from founders or third parties, new companies can also explore government funding programs that are applicable to their activities. There are a number of small business grants Ontario makes available to local startups if they meet certain qualifications. Government grants for small business can make a huge difference in your ability to get your company going with minimal risk to the personal finances of the founders.