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How to Start a Business Now | Chapter 2: Building A Business Plan

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How to build a winning business plan

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on small businesses, but contrary to what many might think, now is a perfect time to start a new business. Opportunities abound for entrepreneurial minds, and to help you on your path from business idea to successful startup, Deluxe has launched a 16-week series called How to Start a Business Now that will arm you with the tools you need to start a business in today’s climate.

Here’s a sneak peek at what you’ll learn in Chapter 2.

You have a great business idea, but how do you execute it? How do you take your idea from concept to successful startup?

You need a business plan.

A strong business plan vastly increases your chances of startup success. In fact, studies have shown that companies that plan grow 30% faster than those that don’t. How to Start a Business Now outlines how a solid business plan will help you plot the details of starting and operating your business. Map the ways you will create revenue and profit projections, and identify potential problems so you can solve them long before they derail your new venture.

Your business plan is your roadmap to success. It allows you to chart a course and make strategic decisions that align with company goals. It’s a living, malleable document that keeps you on track; if you begin to fall short of your goals, it helps you identify shortcomings and right the ship. If you exceed your goals, it enables you to learn what works so you can double down.

A solid business plan helps eliminate guesswork so you can make intelligent, analytical decisions before, during and after the startup phase.

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Business plans are also critical for startup funding. Lenders and investors alike want to know you have a strategic plan for success, and they want to see reliable data-based projections that clearly establish viability and profitability. Moreover, they need to be convinced you’re qualified to execute your plan.

Clearly, business plans carry significant weight. That can make building a business plan seem like a daunting task – especially if this is your first startup and you’re seeking a bank loan or investors. But at its core, a business plan is simply a roadmap that helps you navigate the startup phase and ongoing management of your new business. It’s an exceedingly useful exercise that offers substantial benefits for new entrepreneurs.

Though building a plan takes time and dedication, it doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Get the guidance you need to build a winning business plan in Chapter 2 of How to Start a Business Now, which covers:

  • Lean VS traditional business plans: what’s the difference, and which is right for your business?
  • What to put in your business plan: how to identify your value proposition, conduct competitive analysis, decipher customer segments and analyze risk factors
  • “New normal” considerations: how the coronavirus crisis has changed consumer (and employee) behaviors and expectations, and how to account for them in your business plan
  • 3 ways to conduct market research in today’s world: how to leverage good instead of bad data, and how to know the difference
  • 3 key competitive research considerations, plus critical competitor questions you need to answer in your business plan
  • How to project finances in uncertain times: which startup costs to expect, how to estimate revenue and cash flow, and why it pays to be conservative in your projections
  • Where to get help with your business plan: free and professional resources that can help you build a strong business plan, complete with feedback from the experts

Take the quiz at the end of the chapter to gauge your business plan readiness.

Developing a business plan isn’t a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have. Get yours right from the start with How to Start a Business Now. BEGIN YOUR JOURNEY TODAY.

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