What Makes an Efficient Startup Business Plan?

Starting up a business takes a lot of time, hard work, and patience. Businesses can bring out the best in a person. It is indeed a big challenge for novices, especially those without relevant business training, to start a business and have it doing very well. If you’re not equipped with adequate knowledge and experiences, you are most likely to falter along the way. If you consider yourself a newbie when it comes to businesses, try not to commit the petty mistakes that could cost you your entire investment. What you need is a great startup business plan and stick to it at all times. This is also necessary for seasoned businessman if they want to succeed on a new business on their first try.

Here are the ingredients of an effective startup business plan that would propel you towards success:

1. Your startup business plan should be modern.

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Business Plan Development – Free Government Resources to Aid in Business Planning

In your quest to develop your business plan you will want to obtain information regarding industry analysis, legal and regulatory statutes, manufacturing, training and counseling, and maybe corporate financials and international information and data. This is just a few of the areas you can research through our government’s online resources. Though they are free and free is often synonymous with undervalued they are indeed not free. Your tax dollars pay for them and the information is rich and vast. These government resources are put there to help you succeed so there is no better place to start your research than with the resources you pay for. The U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Commerce, Small Business Administration, Internal Revenue Service, The State Department, FedStats, Export.gov, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission all have information that you will find helpful. I will talk a little about each one, what they do, and how you can use them.

The first place you may want to start with your investigation on industry analysis is through The Department of Commerce. The DoC is comprised of twelve separate agencies responsible for many things regarding business from weather forecasts to patent protection. Their mission statement states exactly what they do and there is no better way to sum it up, “The DoC touches the daily lives of the American people in many ways, with a wide range of responsibilities in the areas of trade, economic development, technology, entrepreneurship and business development, environmental stewardship, and statistical research and analysis.” There is much to the DoC and they also are a portal to several other government agencies and partners that you may find useful.

The U.S. Census Bureau, a derivative of the DoC, is a great resource for industry analysis and they are arguably the most important branch of the DoC for demographic information ranging from population breakdown, income, education levels, and housing to name just a few which you can find in the Peoples and Households section of their website. The Census Bureau also collects massive amounts of data on economic activity. You may need to search the industry code for the particular type of business you’re in or looking for, by searching its NAICS code. You can break information down from a national level and/or by zip code for information on total number of businesses as well as types and average sales in their business and industry section. They also have information on foreign trade and so much more. The fact of the matter is that there is so much data that the U.S. Census Bureau has accumulated it may seem daunting. It is in fact a huge database with so many useful links that I have to write three paragraphs about all the different links worth noting. You should spend some time navigating around, taking notes, and leaving yourself a trail of breadcrumbs one way or another so that you can remember just how you got from place to place.

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Business Plan Services – The 5 Key Stages of the Process

Business planning can never be truly outsourced. If a contractor or consultant is brought into the process they may be allowed to take the lead, but the work will still require extensive collaboration between the entrepreneur or business managers and the contracted firm. This collaboration process will take a different shape depending on the specific firm you are working with, but should include these important stages: 

Interview Stage

After a contract has been signed (and perhaps even before) interviewing will occur where the consultant attempts to gather as much business information directly from the entrepreneurs or managers as possible. If there are multiple managers or founders, they will look to reconcile their different accounts of what the business is attempting to do and make the team aware of significant divergences. 

» Read more: Business Plan Services – The 5 Key Stages of the Process