Does a solopreneur need a business plan? Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” This is especially true when starting a business.
Going through the exercise of writing a business plan will focus you on your talents, strengths and weaknesses, and identify where you may need help with the launch of your business.
Additionally, you will need a business plan if you want a loan. Most startups, start small and self-finance the costs of setting up. However, if you were to ask a bank for a loan, they would want to see your business plan as part of the application process.
Your business plan does not need to be formal but should be organized. There are many books and online resources for writing a business plan. The US Small Business Association (SBA) is a great resource for developing your business plan at www.sba.gov.
7 Elements of a Business Plan
1. Executive Summary
A brief statement describing your goals, products, or services and the purpose of your company.
2. Business Description
What is your business?
3. Target Market
Who is your client? Are you looking for corporate clients or individuals? Identifying your target market down to a specific profile will help you identify how you can help them and can help you market to them.
4. Competitive Analysis
In your community, who else is doing what you do? What talents or strategy do you have that sets you apart from your competition?
5. Marketing Plan
Once you have identified your market, how are you going to reach them? How will you get your message to your audience? If you want to reach business owners consider joining local business networking groups or trade associations. Looking to reach younger populations? Advertise at schools. If you want to target your services to older populations, consider advertising in church bulletins. If you intend to use social media, what formats will you use to target your audience? Read our article about targeting your ideal client through social media.
6. Operations & Management
Outline your organization. If you have a partner or assistant, who is responsible for what? What computer systems, software, online resources will you need to manage your practice?
7. Financial Plan
Are you self-financing or getting a loan? Do you need money for upfront costs? What do you need to invest now and what expenses can you pay later? And the most important question: What is your overhead expense?
Want more tips and advice for your awesome law practice? Check out Law Office on a Laptop, Second Edition: How to Set Up Your Own Successful Law Mobile Law Practice.