Last year, over 608,000 startup businesses launched in Britain. What an amazing figure, and a great endorsement of our entrepreneurial spirit as a nation.
That being said, it was still being reported by Forbes in 2015 that 90% of startups fail. That’s a lot of failing.
We think that better planning and preparation before launching a startup will provide vast improvements in this ratio.
We have put together a quick, free business plan template for prospective startups and new businesses to use when prior to launch or funding application.
State, in one sentence, what your product or service is.
Describe the current pain of the customer — what problem are you solving for them, and how big an issue is it?
How does the customer solve their problem today?
Why should they switch to you?
Explain how you can solve the problem and make the customer’s life better. Will they want or need this service?
Create a sue case or a scenario — give a typical example of somebody who would use your product or service in real life.
How will you validate your idea?
Customers and Market
Do you know who your target customers are? What do you know about them? Age? Preferences? What is important to them? What is their communication style? Where are they to be found?
How many of them are there, and how many will you attract as customers?
Have you spoken to prospective customers about your idea? How many?
How will you reach them? What is your plan for customer acquisition, content or inbound marketing?
How will you create ‘raving fans’, rather than ‘only just satisfied’ clients?
Who else currently provides a similar product or service?
Who else could easily move into this space?
Who else has been successful in this industry? Do you know how and why they have become successful?
List where you see your advantages and disadvantages compared to the competition.
Product or Service Roadmap
How do you see your product or offering growing, changing or adapting over time?
How will your business generate revenue?
How much will it cost to a) set this business up, b) maintain it and c) grow it?
How much will you sell your product or service for? How will you find out if this price is acceptable to your market?
Will you target follow-on purchases from existing clients? Will you offer upgrades or levels of membership or subscription?
Can you project what your income will look like month-by-month, and out over a course of 1–2 years? What is are your financial targets? We appreciate that this is largely conjecture at this point, but you need to think about it.
What about Risk?
Can you identify any areas of uncertainty that may create problems in either launch or operation? How will you mitigate these before they arise?
What will be the really difficult part of this business? Not the time-consuming part necessarily, but the hardest obstacles to overcome?
If you have thought through and answered these questions, your chances of success for either funding or launching your business will be so much higher.
Feel free to share this free business plan template or recommend it to others!
Dunwiley offers business advice, coaching and strategy consulting to startups and small businesses. If you want to know how to grow your business, how to be more profitable or need another perspective, get in touch. We're based in Salisbury, Wiltshire but work in London, Hampshire and surrounding counties.
Drop us an email and say hello: we can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org