Everyone wants more visitors, more qualified leads, and more revenue. But starting a business isn’t one of those "if you build it, they will come" situations. In order to build a successful company, you’ll need to create and fine-tune a business plan, assess your finances, complete all the legal paperwork, pick your partners, research apps for startups growth, choose the best tools and systems to help you get your marketing and sales off the ground … and a whole lot more.
To help, I’ve put together a library of the best free tools and resources to help you start selling and marketing your business, and a complete guide on how to start a business. The guide covers everything from the paperwork and finances to creating your business plan and growing your business online.
How to Start a Business
Starting a business involves a whole lot of moving pieces, some more exciting than others. Brainstorming business names? Fun! Filing taxes? ... Not so fun. The trick to successfully getting your business off the ground is to meticulously plan and organize your materials, prioritize properly, and stay on top of the status and performance of each and every one of these moving parts.
From registering with the government to getting the word out about your business to making key financial decisions, here’s an overview of what you'll need to do to start a successful business.
What Is a Business Plan?
A business plan is a living document that maps out the details of your business. It covers what your business will sell, how it will be structured, what the market looks like, how you plan to sell your product or service, what funding you'll need, what your financial projections are, and which permits, leases, and other documentation will be required.
At its core, a business plan helps you prove to yourself and others whether or not your business idea is worth pursuing. It's the best way to take a step back, look at your idea holistically, and solve for issues years down the road before you start getting into the weeds.
This post covers tips for writing a business plan, followed by an outline of what to include and business plan examples. Let's start with some basic, overarching tips before we dive in to the details. Grab your free business plan template here and apply the practices below.
How to Make a Business Plan
Narrow down what makes you different - Differentiate yourself from other businesses in your space by considering what sets your business/offering apart.
Keep it short - Business plans should be short and concise. Too much detail isn't helpful in a business plan and will only distract and confuse stakeholders. Instead, know these details, but keep them stored elsewhere.
Stay flexible - Your business plan can and should evolve as you go. It's a living, breathing document and should be treated as such.