The Guide to a Successful Business Plan

We’re not all happy working for other people and it’s just one reason why setting up your own business is so popular. The independence and freedom to go your own way can lead to new opportunities in business that otherwise weren’t possible. Whether you want to take your side job full time or use professional expertise from past employment, having your own business and being your own boss can be the change you’re looking for in life.

Around 80% of all new businesses fold in the first year and unless you have a solid business plan, yours likely won’t last long either. Even though it may change over time, you’re always going to need a plan in place to ensure you’re always adapting to the needs of your market. If you’re only in the early stages of setting up, having a business plan at this stage is crucial to gaining traction and attracting customers. Though there’s a lot to setting up your own successful company, there are a handful of steps everyone should take in the beginning.

Five Important Steps

Do Your Research: Don’t go quitting your day job just yet. There’s a lot to consider before deciding to go forward with your ideas. For example, you’ll need to know how many competitors are in your area, if your products and services are desirable, if you’ve got all the necessary qualifications, and who you’re marketing to. Knowing your target audience is key to your business plan and your research should be centered around it. Some of the various popular ways of doing this are public surveys, online questionnaires, and focus groups.

Plan a Budget You Can Stick To: Spending too much when you have an office job isn’t the end of the world since you’ll get another paycheck at the end of the month. You don’t have this level of security when you start your own business and you probably won’t be taking your own wage for a couple of years. Applying a proper budget from the beginning will create a clear forecast for the future and allow you to spend responsibly for the coming months.

Target Your Audience: Your new business idea might seem interesting to you but you’ll want to make sure it has a wider appeal. If you’re providing local services or plan to sell handmade products, you’ll need to figure out the people you intend to sell to and marketing accordingly. That way, your marketing strategies are effective and accurately target the audiences you want to reach.

Set Goals: Goal setting is something we all do in our lives. We might want to improve our approach to fitness, our finances, or finally get on the property ladder. Setting goals in business is just as important because if you’re not striving to make achievements in your new career, your business might fail. Being successful is obviously a long-term goal that everyone has but it’s good to make them for short-term success too. Turning a profit in the first year, establishing a client base, and growing a social media presence are all key short-term goals for startups.

Stick to Your Plan: Over time, your plan will likely change as you achieve your goals and set new ones. But whatever targets you set it’s important to always stick to them. Changing them halfway through is a bad way to operate since there’s no way you’ll be able to control your budget. All your strategies will begin to unravel if the plan that ties them together isn’t fixed or adhered to. You might be forced to make adjustments for reasons that are beyond your control but a well-structured and well-researched business plan should be consistent in order to work.


Having your own business can be a luxury but let’s be honest, if it was easy we’d all have one. A proper business plan is essential to getting your ideas off the ground and turning a profit doing something you enjoy. Whether you’ll be selling local services or your hobbies as an artist or writer, putting together a business plan requires a ton of research to ensure it’s successful. For example, your business won’t last very long if you don’t have a clear strategy for how you intend to finance your operations. Websites like can help you compare low-interest loans and maintain your well-budgeted plan for funding.


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