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How to Write a Winning Business Plan

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Creating a business plan that attracts investors and lenders takes time, research, and dedication. You can use a small business plan template to guide you through the process, but it takes much more than filling in the blanks to build a winning business plan. 

A great business plan doesn’t just follow the right format; it also persuades the reader that you’ve completed all the groundwork and have cultivated a foundation for success. It gets investors excited about what you have to offer and incentivizes them to help you succeed. 

But of course, writing a great business plan is easier said than done. If you’re a small business owner, chances are you’ve never written a business plan and are unsure of where to begin or where to end. But no matter what your level of expertise is, with the right steps, you can create a winning business plan that helps you secure much-needed funding. Here’s what you need to know:

Let Templates Teach the Basics

You can learn a lot from online business plan templates. These templates provide you with the structure you need to create an easy-to-follow business plan. Lenders and investors are accustomed to reading business plans that follow the rules. For instance, this is the standard Table of Content for a business plan: 

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Company Details
  3. Market Analysis
  4. Customer Analysis
  5. Competitor Analysis
  6. Marketing Plan
  7. Operations & Logistics Plan
  8. Management Team
  9. Financial Plan
  10. Appendix

Although it’s important to customize your plan, it’s equally as important to abide by business plan protocols that investors are familiar with. If you deviate from the norm, your business plan could prove difficult to read or compartmentalize. Use existing templates as a resource to keep your business plan on track.

Get Your Numbers Right

The financial section of your business is instrumental in your ability to secure funding. No matter how solid your business plan is, you need the numbers to back it up. Your financials justify every other section of your business plan and if there are any glaring mistakes or miscalculations, you could easily come across as unorganized, unprepared, or ill-informed. Sloppy calculations have the potential to discredit all the hard work you’ve put into your business plan. 

Your financial section should include your income statement, cash flow statement, and balance statement. Not to be confused with accounting, your financial plan should be based on forecasting—using data to determine what your numbers will look like in the future. 

To create a credible financial forecast, be realistic. While investors would love to see a financial graph whose lines skyrocket to the top of the page, it can also be seen as a red flag. Be realistic about your numbers. And although accounting isn’t the same as financial analysis or projection, you should involve your accountant, bookkeeper, or other financial professional to assist you with this section. 

Highlight Your Marketing Strategy

The old adage—“if you build it, they will come”—doesn’t apply in the world of small business. The marketing strategy section of your business plan details exactly how you plan to get in front of your target market and generate sales. The goal of this section is to provide your readers with a high-level overview of the tactics and strategies you’ll use to achieve your goals. 

Your marketing plan should include a list of your products and/or services, the promotions you’ll use to build brand awareness, the price point of your products, and how you’ll distribute your products. 

This is an area where you should be as specific as possible. For instance, if you’re partnering with an award-winning advertising agency, mention this. If you’re collaborating with an established brand, include this. Any methods you plan to use in your marketing efforts should be mentioned here. This could include paid advertising, influencer marketing, social media, and more. 

Hire a Business Plan Service or Freelancer

As previously mentioned, you might not be the best at writing business plans. Perhaps your writing skills aren’t good or you struggle to distance yourself from the passion you feel towards your business. 

That’s where a business plan writer or editor comes in handy. If you want someone to write your business in its entirety, it’s best to hire a specialized firm or professional independent business plan writer. Always review testimonials and reviews before you agree to work with anyone. 

If you feel confident about the business plan you’ve written, you can hire a freelancer to help you edit it and identify any areas for improvement. Alternatively, you can also outsource specific portions of your business plan, like your finance or market research section. 

Peer Review

After you’ve taken the time to have your business plan edited and screened for accuracy, consider putting your plan in front of a fresh pair of friendly eyes. This could be a trusted friend, family member, or colleague. Chances are they won’t be professionals, but they can help you understand whether your message can be understood in simple terms. 

If you’ve ever written something and read it over and over again, only to find that someone else has spotted mistakes, you know the feeling. Or if you’ve ever had an idea that you thought was the greatest idea in the world until someone explained why it wouldn’t work, you know exactly how important it is to share your work. 

After your reader goes through your plan, ask them the following questions: 

  • What does my business do?
  • How will my business make money?
  • How is my business different from competitors? 
  • What strategies are in place to reach my target market?
  • Who is my ideal customer?

Pay attention to how your peers answer these questions. If they’re confused or if they provide inaccurate answers, you might want to revisit the appropriate sections and make some adjustments. 

Right for You

Ultimately, your business plan is designed to help you raise money to grow your business. But don’t forget—your business plan is also for you. Even if you never use your business plan to get a loan or land an investor meeting, this well-documented manifesto can help guide you for years to come. Your business plan will help you stay on track, provide accountability to you and other members of your management team, and act as a reference point for financials and milestones. When your business plan is finally complete, you’ll feel much more confident about the future of your business.

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Everything You Need for Starting a Pressure Washing Business

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If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and feel ready to go into business yourself, the pressure washing business could be the best option for you.

Starting a power washing business doesn’t require lengthy learning and the startup costs are relatively low. Since the demand for such services is always high, this business can provide a solid flow of income if mastered and managed properly.

Like any other business, a successful power washing business requires proper preparation and planning and this article offers a step-by-step guide for embarking on such an entrepreneurial journey.

Research the Market

Doing some in-depth research about the pressure washing market, what customers you want to target, and how many similar businesses are already operating in your area is essential. Even though this business is expected to register decent growth in the coming years, you should still dig a little deeper to see if there’s more work than the existing pressure washers can take on.

You can choose to focus on residential accounts or take on commercial clients. If you feel that you can manage more work, explore opportunities for pressure washing in surrounding neighborhoods and towns.

Proper research and identifying what opportunities exist is a crucial step in establishing a flourishing pressure washing business.

Get Your License

The moment you decide that this type of business is a golden opportunity, you need to check the local requirements for doing business as a pressure washer.

Depending on the state you live in, you may or may not need a business license. However, you should apply and obtain one before getting started as it will cover you legally. Make sure to check with your local authorities on what the rules and regulations are to stay on the right side of the law. 

This is also a major plus when attracting potential customers as they’ll feel more comfortable and it will help establish trust in your business. It may also help in meeting the requirements of other parties, such as vendors, who might want to see your license before deciding to do business.

Get Insurance

Even though it sounds easy to start a pressure washing business, make sure that you develop the proper skills on how to pressure wash without destroying the surrounding area, damaging your client’s siding, and causing an injury to yourself or somebody else.  

However, accidents happen, so in order to protect your new business from claims of negligence, injuries, accidents, financial risks, and legal fees, you should purchase insurance coverage. Nowadays, insurance companies can provide you with a quote for pressure washing insurance online, so you don’t have to waste time standing in lines.

Not only is pressure washing insurance a safety net for your business, but new potential clients will also take this as a positive sign that you’re a professional who takes their job seriously and ensures customer satisfaction.  

Choose Equipment

Depending on your service offering and scope, the type of equipment you’ll need might vary. If you only intend on working for residential clients, then you’ll be good to go with a pressure washer with a force of up to around 4,000 PSI, but for commercial work, you’ll need stronger equipment that offers more functionalities. Since this business is physically demanding, choose equipment that is fast but safe and helps you get certain jobs done efficiently.

Practicing also plays a big role as you don’t want to accidentally damage someone’s landscape while power washing their siding. Regardless of how technologically advanced your equipment is, not knowing how to efficiently handle it can get you bad reviews and cause unwanted accidents and lawsuits.

Before making any big investments, rent a pressure washer and practice on your friends’ patios, or driveways as this will give you the best hands-on experience.

Price Your Services

Once you’re done with all the administrative work, decide on your pressure washing service prices. Since you’re a new business owner, you should start with lower prices while trying to attract new clients.

Test what hourly rate gets you most jobs and try to slowly but surely bump the price up every year as your expertise gets better.

It might feel overwhelming at the beginning but focus on mastering few services first and settle on a rate that works for you. As you improve your skills and your business grows, you can adjust your prices accordingly.

Final Thoughts

Market research, obtaining the right pressure washing insurance, choosing the right equipment, and pricing your services, are all important aspects on the road to becoming a successful business owner.

We’re sure that you’ll be glad to have considered all the above-mentioned steps once your pressure washing business is set up and running.

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Starting A Business

A Basic Guide to Starting a Home-Based Business

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Starting a business in 2021 is much easier than it was twenty years ago. With advanced technology and digital marketing, anyone can step into the role of an entrepreneur. In some cases, all you need is an idea and a computer.

Becoming a business owner is a path to financial security. Even if you don’t give up your day job, starting a home-based business can lead to financial freedom down the road. 

Are you wondering how to start a business? Keep reading for an essential guide to getting started.

Choosing a Home-based Business

Choosing a business that’s right for you is vital to your success. You want something you’ll stick to for the long run. The best home-based businesses are those you can operate from the comfort of your home. 

Start looking at things you are good at and research to learn if there is a market for what you want to offer. For example, if you have certification in accounting, you can start a business performing accounting services for other small businesses.

Creating a Business Plan

Like any business, it’s essential to create a business plan. This document outlines what your business offers, competitor analysis, marketing strategy, and financial goals.   

The business plan is a great way to measure success and to remain focused on reaching your goals. If you’re starting a business and require financial backing, you’ll need a business plan to show lenders. 

You can maximize solar savings by creating a green business.

Incorporate Your Business

A home-based business is no different from starting any other business model. You want to incorporate your business to add a layer of protection. It’s also valuable for opening a business bank account. 

Separating your business from your personal assets is essential in growing a business. It will help you build business credit. Plus, if you are ever sued, you don’t want someone going after your personal property. 

Get an ECommerce Website

Once the paperwork is done and your finances are in order, it’s time to get your business website up and running. Most businesses can benefit from an eCommerce website. These websites help grow efficient businesses that do not require a physical location or multiple employees.

With an eCommerce website, you can sell products, take deposits on bookings, and so much more. 

Marketing 

A powerful marketing strategy is essential to a home-based business. Determine which social media platforms have the greatest reach for getting noticed by your target audience. 

Use your website’s blog options and photo storage as a launching pad for the information you’ll share on online platforms. 

Don’t be afraid to try different marketing trends, including digital ads.

It’s Time to Invest in a Business

A home-based business is an excellent investment. Once your business is up and running and turning a profit, consider a second start-up. The potential is limitless.

If you need more great tips and information on business start-up trends, we have you covered. Continue to browse our site and check back often for new content.

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How To Set Up a Successful Electronic Business

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Consumers can purchase a range of mechanical items and parts from an electronics company, such as cell phones, televisions, computers, peripherals, and components. If you aim to create this type of business, you should arm yourself with knowledge so you don’t end up like huge electronic retailers that collapse. Read on!

1.Examine Other Electronic  Businesses

Examine and comprehend the business models of existing electronics businesses before starting your own. This comprises the typical markup on commodities, overall consumer satisfaction strategies, and managing supplier relationships. You’ll need this information to determine competitive store policies and prices. Compare and contrast the success of successful electronics stores with those that have closed or failed.

2.Research Your Interest Area of Establishment

If you’re just starting, you’ll focus on the local industry first. It’s also possible that you won’t be the first to play the electronic game. You may be competing with a lot of other small businesses in addition to big stores.

Make sure you do your homework before deciding where you want to locate your business and whether it is a good idea to do so. If your neighbourhood is densely packed with stores, consider looking on the opposite side of town or imagining how you may stand out. People may be hesitant to go through your doors if you come in and offer nothing more than another store.

3.Obtain The Necessary Permits

Check with your state and city to determine if there are any additional criteria for opening your store. If you repair computers, you may be required to pass a state-licensed test to ensure that you are aware and capable of providing proper care.

You’ll also need to check into various business licenses and other forms of documents to ensure that you’re following all of the rules.

4.Have a Competitive Business Plan

Due to the competitive nature of the electronics retail industry and the high risk of failure, you must develop a comprehensive business strategy that focuses on your competitive advantages. Use the information you acquired from your initial case study in the market and business profiles, as well as any personal experience you have with electronics, to show why your electronics company would thrive. 

If you’ve managed an electronics store, for example, you’ll be familiar with the inner workings of this type of retail operation and may have an advantage over other new stores.

In your plan, you need to include the brands you’ll be selling. You need to ensure that they are of both quality and outstanding market performance. For instance, working with certified wholesalers of closures and boxes, guarantee you offer the consumers new brands that are outstanding.

Also, don’t forget to include other regular but essential products such as lights and screens. This is because it is always good to offer a pool of varied products to your customers.

5.Choose a Brand For Yourself

idea

Your company’s brand is both what it stands for and how it is regarded by the broader public. Your company will stand out from the neighbourhood competition if it has a strong brand.

So, while naming your firm, don’t go with a generic name like most electrical stores these days. Try to come up with a distinctive name because the right name is really important. You can begin by considering the business’s nature. In your absence, your chosen name will operate as an extension of your brand, representing you. Part of your brand representation in what you sell. You can add some wire connectors. They are always widely in demand by everyone.

We recommend checking to see if the business name you want is available as a web domain and securing it as soon as possible so that no one else does.

6.Get Startup Funds

banknotes

For starters, you’ll need thousands of dollars to launch an electronic business in the first few months, with a large portion of that money going for rent. A significant portion of the funds will be spent on getting certain in-demand electrical goods as well as marketing your new business.

Personal cash, such as savings, loans from financial institutions, and borrowing from friends and family who are interested in assisting you in starting your business are all options for raising capital for your business.

7.Promote Your Store

Starting a business takes time and effort, as well as determination and vision. If you’ve already decided to work in this field, you should first check into legal and technical issues. After you’ve successfully achieved the first two responsibilities, you should build your brand and sell it. 

You must stay up with the most recent advances and maintain high standards at all times. It isn’t enough to have good items. To expand and develop revenue, it must be adequately publicized. The advertising team must be ready to provide you with a marketing strategy that will interest the audience.

As a result, the two key techniques of attracting new clients are word of mouth and local advertising. Many electronic stores promote in local media and provide first-time customers discounts and advertising billboards. Keep in mind that customer retention is crucial. Take extra precautions with the newcomer. 

They are your billboards. They are ecstatic and will brag about your store for hours. Be friendly to everyone that walks into the store. It’s more difficult to keep customers than it is to get them.

The Bottom Line

Starting and maintaining a business to its success is not an easy task. You need to be dedicated to the course and understand that however hard things get, you need to surpass them. Electronic stores are quite demanding, but a nice business to invest in altogether. Best of luck!

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