The first step involved in starting any type of business is writing a business plan. Business plans are crucial for entrepreneurs, as they provide a navigable roadmap detailing your business’s goals and how you aim to get there over the course of the next few months (or years, if you’re taking the long view) with your current resources. Your first business plan can really be as formal or informal, detailed or broad, as you feel comfortable creating. It’s a living document, too, so you can always revisit your plan as your business gains traction and your goals and resources shift.
But at the very least, your first business plan should address the following questions:
- Who are your target customers and what services will you provide for them?
- What tools and equipment do you need to get started?
- What’s your hiring plan?
- How will you market your services?
- What are your financial goals?
- How much will you charge for your services?
We’ll stress again that your first business plan is not set in stone. Rather, think of your initial plan as an opportunity for you to organize your thoughts and take stock of your resources. That way, you’ll feel confident launching your business from a solid foundation.
Plan Your Budget
Along with your business plan, you’ll need to make preliminary plans for your expenses. Take stock of how much cash you have on hand, and how much additional funding you might need to get yourself off the ground. Also calculate your equipment costs; relevant startup costs like business licenses, training and certification costs, and wages, if you plan on hiring staff; as well as your expected daily expenses, like gas for your truck.