Understand the business plan elements
The first step of creating an effective business plan is to become familiar with the typical elements by looking at the question “What is a business plan?” on our site. We also encourage prospective business owners to make an appointment with a SCORE advisor. It’s free, confidential, and we are happy to discuss your idea in depth. Email us or call 330-941-2948 today!
Research your business
We also suggest that you compile the appropriate research before starting to create the business plan. The subject matter will dictate the source. For instance, if you need to review laws or ordinances, you may start at the State of Ohio website or your local mayor's office. Another example would be to visit the library business center in order to determine the number of vehicles that drive past your perspective location in a given year. There is a great deal of free information available to anyone who’s willing to put forth the effort.
Outline the business plan
Once you have the majority of your facts, you can begin outlining your business plan. You may find it easier to start with bullet points and then slowly convert them into sentences or paragraphs. However, remember that the proper use of bullets is very effective. This is an ideal time to review your progress with your SCORE mentor.
You may find that there is a problem or two with your plan. Perseverance is critical so don’t get discouraged. If your business doesn’t work exactly the way you envisioned, perhaps you can make a few critical changes to make it a viable concept again.
Revise the business plan
Once the plan is complete, remember to modify it periodically. A business plan is not a stagnant document. It is in fact a living document. Market forces change, which will invalidate your assumptions. Some aspects of your business may no longer be viable and new opportunities might present themselves. Remember that the primary reason you are creating the plan should be as an aide to run the company.