What Entrepreneurs Must Do After Creating a Business Plan?

72 / 100

After creating a business plan, there are several crucial steps that an entrepreneur must take to turn their vision into a reality. A business plan serves as a blueprint for your business, but it is only the beginning of the journey. The real work begins once you have a plan in place, and it is time to execute it.

An entrepreneur reviews financial projections and market research after creating a business plan

One of the first steps you should take after creating a business plan is to validate your business idea. This involves researching your target market, identifying your competition, and determining whether there is a demand for your product or service. Once you have validated your business idea, you can move on to securing funding, establishing a legal structure, building a strong brand, planning operations, developing a marketing strategy, assembling a team, setting up a business location, and launching the business.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • After creating a business plan, you must validate your business idea by researching your target market and identifying your competition.
  • You should secure funding, establish a legal structure, build a strong brand, plan operations, develop a marketing strategy, assemble a team, set up a business location, and launch the business.
  • Once your business is up and running, you should monitor and adapt your strategy as needed and plan for growth.

Validate the Business Idea

Once you have created a business plan, the next step is to validate your business idea. This process involves researching the market and testing your idea to ensure that there is demand for your product or service. Here are two important steps in validating your business idea:

Market Research

Market research is a critical step in validating your business idea. It involves gathering information about your target market, competitors, and industry trends. By conducting market research, you can determine whether there is a need for your product or service, identify potential customers, and gain insights into your competition.

There are several ways to conduct market research, including:

  • Surveys: Surveys can help you gather information about your target market’s preferences, needs, and pain points.
  • Focus groups: Focus groups can provide valuable insights into your target market’s opinions and attitudes towards your product or service.
  • Online research: You can use online resources to gather information about your competition, industry trends, and potential customers.

By conducting thorough market research, you can gain a better understanding of your target market and refine your business idea to better meet their needs.

Feedback and Testing

Once you have conducted market research, the next step is to test your business idea. This involves creating a minimum viable product (MVP) and gathering feedback from potential customers.

An MVP is a basic version of your product or service that allows you to test your idea without investing too much time or money. By gathering feedback on your MVP, you can identify areas for improvement and refine your product or service to better meet the needs of your target market.

There are several ways to gather feedback on your MVP, including:

  • Surveys: Surveys can help you gather feedback on your MVP’s features, usability, and overall appeal.
  • User testing: User testing involves observing potential customers as they use your MVP and gathering feedback on their experience.
  • A/B testing: A/B testing involves testing two different versions of your MVP to determine which one is more effective.

By gathering feedback and testing your MVP, you can refine your business idea and ensure that there is demand for your product or service before investing too much time or money.

Secure Funding

The entrepreneur presents the business plan to potential investors, seeking funding to bring the business to life

After creating a business plan, securing funding is the next crucial step. Without adequate funding, it will be challenging to execute your business plan and bring your ideas to life. Here are two essential steps you should take to secure funding:

Identify Funding Sources

There are several ways to secure funding for your business. You can consider the following options:

  • Personal savings: If you have personal savings, you can use them to finance your business.
  • Friends and family: You can also consider asking friends and family to invest in your business.
  • Bank loans: You can apply for a bank loan to finance your business.
  • Angel investors: Angel investors are wealthy individuals who invest in startups in exchange for equity.
  • Venture capital: Venture capital firms invest in startups that have high growth potential.

Before choosing a funding source, it’s essential to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each option. For instance, while personal savings may be a convenient option, it may not provide enough capital to finance your business. On the other hand, while venture capital may provide significant funding, it may come with strings attached, such as giving up a portion of your company’s ownership.

Prepare Financial Projections

To secure funding, you need to prepare financial projections that demonstrate the viability of your business. Financial projections are estimates of your company’s future financial performance based on historical data and assumptions. They typically include income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements.

Your financial projections should be realistic and based on sound assumptions. They should also demonstrate how you plan to use the funding you receive. For instance, if you plan to use the funding to develop a new product, your financial projections should show how the product will generate revenue and profitability.

In conclusion, securing funding is a critical step in bringing your business plan to life. By identifying funding sources and preparing financial projections, you can increase your chances of securing the capital you need to execute your business plan.

Establish a legal structure.

An entrepreneur files legal paperwork after creating a business plan

After creating a business plan, one of the most important steps is to establish a legal structure for your business. This will help you protect your personal assets and limit your liability. Here are some key considerations when establishing a legal structure for your business:

Choose a Business Entity

The first step in establishing a legal structure for your business is to choose a business entity. There are several types of business entities to choose from, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and corporations. Each type of entity has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your needs.

Sole proprietorships are the simplest and most common type of business entity. They are easy to set up and maintain, but they offer no protection for your personal assets. Partnerships are similar to sole proprietorships, but they involve two or more owners. Limited liability companies (LLCs) are a popular choice for small businesses because they offer protection for personal assets and are relatively easy to set up. Corporations are more complex and expensive to set up, but they offer the most protection for personal assets.

Register the Business

Once you have chosen a business entity, you will need to register your business with the appropriate state and federal agencies. This will involve obtaining a tax identification number (TIN) from the IRS and registering your business with your state’s business registration office. You may also need to register for state and local taxes, depending on your location and the type of business you are starting.

Obtain Licenses and Permits

Depending on the type of business you are starting, you may need to obtain licenses and permits from your state and local governments. These may include business licenses, zoning permits, health permits, and more. It’s important to research the requirements for your specific business and location to ensure that you are in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

In conclusion, establishing a legal structure for your business is an important step that can help protect your personal assets and limit your liability. By choosing the right business entity, registering your business, and obtaining the necessary licenses and permits, you can set your business up for success.

Build a Strong Brand

An entrepreneur reviews their business plan, then begins to establish a strong brand through marketing, logo design, and customer engagement

After creating your business plan, building a strong brand is crucial for the success of your business. A strong brand helps you stand out in a crowded market and establishes trust with your customers. Here are two key steps to building a strong brand:

Create a Logo and Branding Materials

Your logo and branding materials are the visual representation of your company. They should be memorable, professional, and consistent across all platforms. Consider hiring a graphic designer to create a logo that reflects your brand’s values and personality. Your branding materials should include business cards, letterheads, envelopes, and other materials that you will use to communicate with customers and partners.

Develop a Company Voice

Your company’s’s voice is the tone and style of your communication with customers. It should be consistent across all platforms and reflect your brand’s values and personality. Develop a company voice that is professional, friendly, and approachable. Use this voice in all your marketing materials, including social media posts, website content, and email newsletters.

By creating a strong brand, you can differentiate yourself from your competitors and build a loyal customer base. Remember to stay consistent with your branding materials and company voice to establish a strong and recognizable brand.

Plan Operations

An entrepreneur reviews the business plan, sets goals, allocates resources, and establishes a timeline for implementation

After creating your business plan, it’s essential to set up your operations. You need to have a clear understanding of how your business will operate to ensure its success. Here are two crucial steps to take when planning your operations::.

Set Up Accounting Systems

One of the most important aspects of planning your operations is setting up your accounting systems. You need to keep track of your finances to ensure that your business is profitable. You can set up an accounting system manually or use accounting software to help you manage your finances.

Here are some things to consider when setting up your accounting system:

  • Choose the right accounting software that suits your business needs.
  • Decide on the chart of accounts that you will use to categorize your transactions.
  • Establish a bookkeeping system to keep track of your financial transactions.
  • Create a budget to help you manage your cash flow.

With a sound accounting system in place, you will be able to make informed decisions about your business’s financial future.

Outline Business Processes

Another critical aspect of planning your operations is outlining your business processes. You need to have a clear understanding of how your business will operate to ensure its success.

Here are some things to consider when outlining your business processes:

  • Define your business processes and identify the steps involved in each process.
  • Determine who will be responsible for each process and assign roles and responsibilities.
  • Identify any bottlenecks or inefficiencies in your processes and find ways to eliminate them.
  • Develop a training program to ensure that your employees understand your business processes.

By outlining your business processes, you will be able to streamline your operations, reduce costs, and improve customer satisfaction.

In summary, planning your operations is a crucial step in turning your business plan into a successful business. By setting up your accounting systems and outlining your business processes, you will be able to manage your finances effectively and streamline your operations.

Develop a Marketing Strategy

An entrepreneur reviews a business plan, then develops a marketing strategy

After creating a business plan, developing a comprehensive marketing strategy is crucial to the success of your business. A marketing strategy outlines how your company will articulate its value proposition to its customers. It provides a long-term vision for overall marketing efforts, often looking many years ahead. Here are two important steps you should take when developing your marketing strategy:

Identify the target audience

Identifying your target audience is the first step in developing a marketing strategy. You need to know who your customers are, what they want, and how to reach them. Conduct market research to understand your customers’ demographics, psychographics, and behavior. Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, you can tailor your marketing message to their specific needs and preferences.

Select Marketing Channels

Once you have identified your target audience, the next step is to select the marketing channels that will reach them effectively. There are many marketing channels to choose from, including digital marketing, social media, traditional advertising, and more. Each channel has its own strengths and weaknesses, so you need to choose the ones that are most likely to reach your target audience.

Consider your budget, resources, and goals when selecting marketing channels. For example, if you have a limited budget, digital marketing and social media may be more cost-effective than traditional advertising. On the other hand, if you have a larger budget and want to reach a wider audience, traditional advertising may be a better choice.

Assemble a Team

An entrepreneur reviews a business plan, then reaches out to potential team members, networking and recruiting for their startup

After creating a business plan, assembling a team is one of the most important steps an entrepreneur must take. A well-rounded team can provide skills, expertise, support, feedback, connections, and opportunities that an entrepreneur cannot achieve alone. Here are some steps to help you assemble a team that can help you achieve your goals.

Hire Key Staff

The first step in assembling a team is to hire key staff. Depending on the nature of your business, the key staff may include a CEO, COO, CFO, CMO, CTO, and other specialized positions. It is important to hire staff with the right skills, experience, and attitude. You can use job boards, social media, and professional networks to find qualified candidates. Be sure to conduct thorough interviews and background checks to ensure that you are hiring the right people.

Define Roles and Responsibilities

Once you have hired key staff, it is important to define their roles and responsibilities. This will help ensure that everyone on your team is working towards the same goals. You can use a job description template to define roles and responsibilities. Be sure to include the following information:

  • Job title
  • Job summary
  • Key responsibilities
  • Qualifications
  • Skills and experience required

Defining roles and responsibilities can also help you avoid conflicts and misunderstandings in the future.

Set Up a Business Location

After creating a business plan, the entrepreneur must secure a business location, obtain necessary permits, and set up the physical space for operations

After creating a business plan, one of the most important things to do is to set up a business location. Choosing the right location and designing the workspace can have a significant impact on the success of your business. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Choose a Location

When choosing a location for your business, you should consider several factors. First, you should look for areas where your product or service is in high demand or where your competition is fairly low [1]. You should also consider the accessibility of the location, including transportation options and parking availability. Additionally, you should think about the cost of the location and whether it fits within your budget.

Once you have identified a few potential locations, you should conduct a site visit to get a better understanding of the area. During the visit, you should look for any potential issues that could impact your business, such as noise or safety concerns. You should also consider the demographics of the area and whether it aligns with your target market.

Design the Workspace

The design of your workspace can have a significant impact on the productivity and satisfaction of your employees. When designing the workspace, you should consider the layout, lighting, and overall aesthetic [1]. You should also think about the equipment and technology that your employees will need to do their jobs effectively.

To create an optimal workspace, you should involve your employees in the design process. This can help to ensure that the workspace meets their needs and preferences. Additionally, you should consider incorporating elements that promote wellness, such as natural light and plants.

In conclusion, setting up a business location is a crucial step after creating a business plan. By choosing the right location and designing the workspace effectively, you can create a productive and successful environment for your business.

[1] Source: How to Choose a Business Location – NerdWallet

Launch the Business

An entrepreneur holds a completed business plan, standing in front of a rocket ship ready for launch. The entrepreneur looks determined and focused, ready to take the next step in their business journey

Congratulations! You have created a business plan, and you are now ready to launch your business. The launch phase is critical and requires careful planning and execution. In this section, we will discuss two essential steps to successfully launch your business: planning a launch strategy and organizing a launch event.

Plan a Launch Strategy

The first step in launching your business is to plan a launch strategy. A launch strategy outlines how you will introduce your business to the market and attract customers. Your launch strategy should include the following elements:

  • Target audience: Identify your target audience and tailor your launch strategy to their needs and preferences.
  • Marketing channels: Determine the marketing channels you will use to reach your target audience, such as social media, email marketing, or advertising.
  • Key messages: Develop key messages that communicate the value of your product or service to your target audience.
  • Launch timeline: Create a timeline that outlines the launch activities and deadlines.

By developing a comprehensive launch strategy, you can increase the chances of a successful launch and attract customers to your business.

Organize a Launch Event

Organizing a launch event is an effective way to introduce your business to the market and generate buzz. A launch event can take many forms, such as a grand opening, a product launch, or a networking event. When organizing a launch event, consider the following:

  • Venue: Choose a venue that is appropriate for your target audience and the type of event you are organizing.
  • Guest list: Develop a guest list that includes potential customers, investors, and other stakeholders.
  • Event program: Develop an event program that includes speeches, product demonstrations, or other activities that showcase your business.
  • Marketing: Promote your launch event through various marketing channels, such as social media, email marketing, or advertising.

By organizing a launch event, you can create excitement around your business and generate interest from potential customers and investors.

In summary, launching a business requires careful planning and execution. By developing a launch strategy and organizing a launch event, you can successfully introduce your business to the market and attract customers.

Monitor and Adapt

An entrepreneur reviews financial data and market trends, adjusting strategies as needed

Creating a business plan is just the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey. Once the plan is in place, it is essential to monitor your progress and adapt to changing circumstances. Here are a few ways to do that:

Track Key Performance Indicators

Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) is crucial to ensuring that your business is on track. KPIs are measurable values that demonstrate how effectively your business is achieving its objectives. Some examples of KPIs include revenue, customer acquisition cost, customer retention rate, and conversion rate.

To track KPIs effectively, you should establish a system for collecting and analyzing data. This may involve using software tools, spreadsheets, or other methods. By monitoring your KPIs regularly, you can identify areas where your business is excelling and areas where improvements are needed.

Solicit Customer Feedback

Soliciting customer feedback is another important way to monitor and adapt your business plan. Your customers are the lifeblood of your business, and their feedback can provide valuable insights into how to improve your products or services.

There are many ways to solicit customer feedback, including surveys, focus groups, and social media. You can also use customer feedback to identify trends and patterns that can help you make strategic decisions about your business.

By monitoring and adapting your business plan, you can ensure that your business stays on track and continues to grow and thrive. Keep in mind that monitoring and adapting is an ongoing process, and you should be prepared to make changes as needed to ensure your business’s success.

Plan for Growth

A business plan sits on a desk, surrounded by charts, graphs, and a calendar. A hand reaches for a pen to make notes

After creating a business plan, it’s important to plan for growth. Here are some ways to do that:

Explore Expansion Opportunities

To expand your business, you need to explore new opportunities. This could involve expanding into new markets, developing new products or services, or acquiring other businesses. Before you take any of these steps, it’s important to do your research and make sure that you have the resources to support growth.

One way to explore expansion opportunities is to conduct a SWOT analysis. This will help you identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. By doing this, you can determine whether expansion is a viable option for your business.

Another way to explore expansion opportunities is to network with other entrepreneurs. Attend industry events and conferences, join business associations, and connect with other entrepreneurs on social media. By doing this, you can learn about new trends and opportunities in your industry.

Invest in Continuous Improvement

To grow your business, you need to invest in continuous improvement. This involves identifying areas where your business can improve and implementing changes to make it more efficient and effective.

One way to invest in continuous improvement is to conduct regular performance reviews. This will help you identify areas where your business is underperforming and develop strategies to address these issues.

Another way to invest in continuous improvement is to invest in employee training and development. This will help your employees develop new skills and knowledge that can help your business grow.

Finally, you should also invest in technology and infrastructure. This can help you automate processes, reduce costs, and improve efficiency. For example, you could invest in a customer relationship management (CRM) system to improve your customer service and sales processes.

By exploring expansion opportunities and investing in continuous improvement, you can position your business for long-term growth and success.

Recommended: Top 10 Best Business Plan Software In 2024: The Ultimate Guide
Recommended: How to Create Financial Projections for Your Startup: A Clear Guide ( 2024 )

Frequently Asked Questions

An entrepreneur reviews a business plan, surrounded by notes and a computer

How should an entrepreneur act on the financial projections in their business plan?

After creating a business plan, entrepreneurs should use their financial projections as a guide for their business operations. Regularly comparing actual financial results with the projections can help entrepreneurs identify potential issues and adjust their strategies accordingly. It is important to keep in mind that projections are not always accurate, and entrepreneurs should be prepared to revise them as necessary.

What are the initial steps an entrepreneur should take to launch a business after planning?

Once the business plan is complete, entrepreneurs should focus on executing their plan. This includes building a strong team, securing necessary funding, and filing any required legal documents. Entrepreneurs should also develop a marketing strategy and begin to establish their brand. It is important to prioritize tasks and focus on the most critical needs of the business.

Which strategies must an entrepreneur implement to attract investors post business plan creation?

To attract investors after creating a business plan, entrepreneurs should focus on building relationships and networking. They should be prepared to present their business plan and financial projections to potential investors in a clear and concise manner. Entrepreneurs should also be open to feedback and willing to make changes to their plan based on investor input.

What are the key legal considerations for an entrepreneur following the completion of a business plan?

Entrepreneurs should ensure that they have filed all necessary legal documents and obtained any required licenses or permits. They should also be aware of any regulations that apply to their industry and ensure that they are in compliance. It is important to consult with a lawyer to ensure that all legal requirements are met.

How does an entrepreneur effectively transition from planning to operation?

To effectively transition from planning to operation, entrepreneurs should create a detailed action plan that outlines specific tasks and timelines. They should focus on executing their plan and monitoring progress regularly. It is important to be flexible and adjust the plan as necessary based on feedback and changing circumstances.

What methods should an entrepreneur use to monitor and revise the business plan after initiation?

Entrepreneurs should regularly review their business plan and financial projections to ensure that they are on track. They should be open to feedback and willing to make changes to their plan as necessary. It is important to establish key performance indicators (KPIs) and monitor them regularly to ensure that the business is meeting its goals.