You’re in the home stretch of building your business plan!! Hooray! As a recap, by now you’ve identified the problem/need, you’ve described your solution, your target audience has been defined and how to reach them has been planned and you know how much revenue you need to generate to meet your expenses. You’re ready for the final pieces of the puzzle.
This may seem like the easy part but it requires some soul searching and honesty on your part. In this part you really need to describe in detail what sets you apart from other businesses offering similar solutions. What makes your business the purple cow in a field of jersey cows? Using our artisan bread business example, perhaps your uniqueness derives from using organic ingredients, small batch baking, using family recipes, etc. For the coffee roaster business it might look like using fair trade beans, freshly roasted coffee using a proprietary roasting formula, signature roast blends that are available nowhere else.
This is your opportunity to expound on the virtues of your business. Take some liberty with your description so long as it has a basis in fact.
What Are Your Super Powers?
In this section you want to set down if your product is not easily replicated by other people. If you’re the baker, this would be covered by your using family recipes. The coffee roaster satisfies this part by it’s unique blend of beans using a proprietary roasting process.
Do you have any unfair advantages over the competition? These advantages might look like your best friend is the purchasing manager at the food market chain and she can get your product on the shelves. Perhaps you have a benefactor who has generously offered to “bankroll” your operation for the first six months. Maybe you have decades of experience in the field that your competitors will find difficult to match. Describe these “super powers” in as much detail as possible.
How Is The Fit?
For this final part, it requires you to project into the future a bit. Looking down the road in this business, where do you see yourself? Will you tire of this or does it energize you to dream about it? Can you see yourself putting in the kind of time and attention that the business will demand? Is this the kind of lifestyle and responsibility that you want? Does the business feel like and extension of you?
Basically, at the end of the day, if everything goes as planned … will you be happy and content giving life to this business? After all, what’s the use of success if it doesn’t bring you some happiness or sense of worth?
A business plan is not intended to be a “once and done” document. You should periodically refer back to it to see how your business is doing. Were your assumptions correct? Do you need to make some adjustments? Are things going better than planned? If so, should you hire more people or expand your business?
I wish you the very best in your endeavors.