How to Make a Business Plan For a Startup?
The 21st century is the time of agile thinking. You need to make a shift in the way of thinking and move quickly.
Ready? Go get your ducks in a row and prepare yourself for the next move.
Ready to be your own boss? If so, you are about to open a new page in your career. Do so if you are tired of bosses who measure your work under a microscope. I am talking about opening a startup company.
Ready for a new start? If so, read this article to learn about ways to write your first business plan for a startup. Once you do that, you need to take courage and open a startup company and have a footing in an inspiring game.
In this article you will learn the basics:
- The purpose of your startup company
- Your customers
- Your competitors
- Budgeting Plan
- Adequate Budget
- Financial projections
- Business plan writing
- Final words.
Here we go!
The Purpose of Your Startup Company
When you have a business plan in mind, it must be related to the purpose of your startup company. No, flying in the air! No, half-sleep, half-awake crying that you don’t know where to start!
What is the purpose of your startup company? That’s where to start! Is it to inspire humanity? Is it to give your customers the most incredible shopping experience? Is it animal safekeeping? What is it? Ask yourself this question to get your answer(s):
- What prominent challenges does my company solve? Why am I in business?
Once you are clear about the purpose of your company, you need to go to the next level — get to know your customers.
Your market is your money-maker. You need to know the market. And it does not matter whether you learn about your target market by personal experience or by searching the Internet from morning till night, you need to know your customer or your golden goose. You need to know who you are working for.
Let’s suppose you want to produce baby nappies. Most probably babysitting parents will be your target beneficiaries.
Now sit down and ask questions about them.
- Do they work?
- How often do they need your product?
- Why do they need your product?
- Why do they care about your product?
The last question is a key one. Why would they ever choose your product when there are so many baby nappies out there? This brings us to our next section — your competitors.
There must be something special about those brands that gain a foothold while others don’t. The secret? In fact, it’s not even a secret! It’s like solving a sudoku puzzle.
You can’t solve a sudoku puzzle just by guessing. You need to think and look around, in other words, study your competitors.
Once you know what they do, you can develop a unique product.
Consider doing this.
- Add an additional function
- Modify the original function
- Multiply the effect of the same function
- Add additional parameters (values)
- Offer extra tip
- Create a new formula
- Solve your formula
If you can do anything from the above list, I guarantee you will be one step ahead of your competitors.
If you are just starting, most probably you will need funding. Below we will come up with a few possible options:
1. Personal Savings
If you are one of the determined persons that take care of their own finances, there is a possibility that you have some personal savings. If so, it’s important to do the above-mentioned because you are risking hard work.
If you don’t have personal savings or you don’t have enough, here is what to do.
2. May the business pay for itself
Let the business pay for itself and grow your business from the revenue coming in. But what to do with the expenses that occur before the revenue? You need some way to get cash upfront. One way is to consider Credit Card/Debit Card, Netbanking, UPI, and Digital Wallet. Make sure to take advantage of all discounts that prepaid orders offer.
Once your business starts giving first seeds, invest back and get rid of the debt as soon as possible.
And if you have time, read ‘’The Customer-Funded Business: Start, Finance, or Grow Your Company with Your Customers’ Cash’’. The book is exactly about raising capital from a much more agreeable and hospitable source, your customers.
3. Government subsidies and grants
Normally, your government will have some grants to support innovations in your community. This may happen from now and on and you need to watch sources as government grants are advertised for a relatively short time.
Make sure to follow social media pages of your government. Different governments are active on different social media so make sure to watch the most active pages.
In general, grants are focused on issues that are of relevance to the government for a specific reason. If the government is going to spend money, there should be some cause behind it. These days, high tech and science are targeted sectors for government funding but there is a possibility that you may get grants for other innovative solutions.
The nuisance about applying for government grants is that you need to submit a lot of documents and fill out damn long application forms. Not to lose your motivation, always think of the purpose of your company or your mission. Why am I doing this? The answer may give you inspiration and strength to go through this rather inconvenient procedure.
Normally you need to provide the following information:
- A detailed project description
- Why is the project needed?
- Your solutions and how they can be useful for a specific goal
- Your experience
- Backgrounds of the project managers
One cannot overemphasize how important an adequate budget is. By adequate I mean that it should be reasonable and believable. Don’t try to fool the evaluators. It just won’t work! Make sure to write a detailed budget with credible estimates. To have an idea about how much work you should put into developing your budget, read an article about application cost calculation. This is just to show you that people do some hard work.
And if you need further assistance, here are budget templates for you.
Supplement your budget request with financial projections. Your goal should be to convince the evaluators that your business is going to strive.
You may produce income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements if you are already in business. If you are just beginning, provide your forecasts for the coming five years with sufficient evidence to back the projections. Include forecasted income statements, balance sheets, capital expenditures, cash flow, and other financial accounts. Make sure there is a link between your funding request and your financial projections. You can provide quarterly and even monthly projects. You may want to use plenty of graphs and charts to tell how determined you are.
Remember your mission? That’s where to get motivated and do all this hard job!
Business Plan Writing
Now that you know the entire story, let us get to the actual writing of your business plan. We will cover the basics and leave you with the rest of your homework. Rather than going through details, we will show you how to kickstart. For more information, we provide links to valuable resources.
So, what is it all about? The point is that it’s all about just 1–2 pages of a text called The Executive Summary. If you accomplish this section, this is half of your job done. Often, the investors read just this part and lose interest if you are not inspiring. You need to hit two birds with one stone. First, you need to tell them, ‘’hey, it’s worth reading on’’. And second, you need to get your potential funders excited about your startup ideas.
The Executive Summary should briefly (1 or 2 pages) elaborate on these:
- Your business startup idea (one or two sentences)
- The problem(s) you are solving
- Your solution — how are you going to solve these problem(s)
- Why are you the one who CAN solve these issues (your management team and their prior experience)
- The financial outlook of your business. Briefly outline the budget focusing on key points, like how much money you want and how you will use it. Don’t forget to show your perspective on why your business will be a money-maker.
And if you need a really detailed resource, here is a page for a business plan template. Download the template from the top of the page hitting the Download Template blue button. Still more resources for startup business plan. And if you are not happy with any of these, just Google ‘’Resource page business plan template’’.
If we have not inspired you so far to kickstart your first startup idea, get your motivation from what Addevice created for a local Armenian group called Varpet. Addevice, an Armenian app development company, created an app for a group of enthusiasts who wanted to have a mobile application for cleaning services. Today, the company offers all kinds of services starting from beauty to computer repair to gardening.
If they could do it, so can you! Just think — what would you do if you had all the resources at your disposal. Don’t be scared of the scale of your imagination. Just break it down and do a fragment.
Still don’t have an answer? That’s ok! You made the first and most important step already — you asked the right question!
Share this article with your friends, if you want them to get inspired too! Share especially with likeminded people. Who knows? Maybe that will be the beginning of your startup company.