Planning your business

So you've unearthed your golden business idea, but what do you do next? Easy, start planning! Not quite as exciting but no matter how great your idea is, unless you've set out exactly how you intend to implement it, it's unlikely to ever surface as a real business. This guide shows you how to plot your route to starting-up and develop a business plan:

  • Develop and test your idea
  • Market research
  • Write a business plan

Develop and test your idea

It's time to flesh out your idea. Where will the money come from? Where will it be based? Are there any similar businesses out there? How are they doing? How will you differentiate yourself? The more detail you go into, the more you will be able to work out whether your proposition is a viable one - and the more likely it is that potential investors will be convinced when it comes to getting funding.

  • Go into as much detail as possible
  • Look at the competition - how are they doing?
  • Decide how you will differentiate your business

Market research

Doing extensive market research will help you to work out whether there is a niche for your business - and will help you to convince potential investors. You can find government statistics on the Office of National Statistics (ONS) website or at your local library, or, for more specific research, you may have to pay for a report from a company such as Mintel or Experian. You could also do your own research, either by speaking to friends and family or going out on the street to speak to strangers.

  • Work out whether there is a gap in the market for your idea
  • Use statistics from the government or reports
  • Do research on the street

Write a business plan

Your business plan is your outlines what your business will do, how it will do it - and that must include how it will make money. Your plan will sum up all the research you have done, proving the need for your business; forecast costs and revenues to show it is viable; and plot how you intend to execute the plan and reach customers/clients.

  • Use a plan to prove your business is viable
  • Include research
  • Be clear about revenues and strategy

Resources from our partners

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