What Must an Entrepreneur Do After Creating a Business Plan

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What Must an Entrepreneur Do After Creating a Business Plan

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A business plan is often the first critical step in determining how a new business will work. It is the starting line for turning a dream into a successful business. A solid business plan will help you structure, operate, and grow your business.

If you’ve put a lot of effort into creating a business plan and now you’re wondering what must an entrepreneur do after creating a business plan, keep reading. I’ll take you through all the necessary steps, from learning where to create a website to deciding on a business structure to getting financing and developing a marketing strategy.

Refining Your Business Plan

Refining Your Business Plan

A good business plan is never finished, and creating one is just the beginning. It should be constantly updated and changed as your business changes. It’s important to make sure your business plan is solid and current.

To update and refine your business plan, chat with industry experts and many entrepreneurs who have been in the field for a while. Ask for their advice, as their experience can be gold.

Use feedback from market research to identify areas where your new business can align with industry needs and standards.

Make sure your financial projections are both ambitious and realistic, and your executive summary is compelling enough to attract investors.

Establish a Digital Presence

Establish a Digital Presence

When creating a business, you’ll need a website, a domain name, and a digital presence.

Choose a domain name that resonates with your brand and is easy to remember. Ideally, you’ll be able to use your company name with a .com or a close variation.

Design your website with your target audience in mind, ensuring it aligns with your brand image. You’ll want to keep it simple; start with a user-friendly platform like Showit.co that doesn’t require you to code.

Legal Requirements

Legal Requirements

Once you’ve laid out the foundational steps, you’ll focus on the legal requirements.

Choose a Business Structure

Think of this as the backbone of your company. Whether it’s a sole proprietorship, a limited liability company (LLC), or a Corporation, your choice will impact how you report income, your level of personal liability, and how you can raise money.

You’ll file your business structure directly with your state. Alternatively, you can use a company that will do it for you, but it is not necessary and is usually more expensive.

It’s always a good idea to seek advice from a legal expert, accountant, or consultant in your early stages. It can save a lot of potential headaches in the future.

Business Licenses and Permits

Depending on your business type and location, you’ll need specific licenses or permits to operate legally. This could be as simple as a business license or, more specifically, a health permit for a restaurant. Doing this keeps you in good standing and avoids unnecessary fines.

Protect Intellectual Property

If you’ve created something unique – like a product design, a brand logo, or a specific method or formula – it’s wise to protect it. This could mean applying for patents, trademarks, or copyrights. Protecting your intellectual property ensures others can’t copy or profit from your innovations without your permission.

Tax ID Number

Often referred to as an Employer Identification Number (EIN), this is like a social security number for your business. It’s crucial for tax purposes and is typically required if you plan to hire employees or open a business bank account. Staying ahead on tax requirements helps you avoid unpleasant surprises down the line. Once you’ve formed your corporation, you can apply for your EIN with the IRS.

Funding and Financial Planning

Funding and Financial Planning

Every aspiring entrepreneur knows that a brilliant idea or successful venture, no matter how innovative, requires the proper financial backing to bring it to life. With financial details and the right strategies, securing the necessary funding as an entrepreneur can become less complicated.

Presenting to Investors

Your business plan is your first impression. It’s crucial to present it in a manner that showcases the viability of your business idea and emphasizes potential growth areas and profit avenues. Investors are always looking for businesses that can offer good returns, so highlight those areas where your own business idea excels.

Financial Details

Potential investors will want to see your financial details. Financial projections include start-up costs, projected expenses, expected revenues, and break-even analysis. The more transparent and thorough you are, the more confidence investors will have in your already strong business plan.

Exploring Funding Avenues

Apart from traditional investors, there are several other ways to get money, secure funding, and raise capital:

  • Crowdfunding – Platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo allow you to present your idea to the public, and if they believe in it, they’ll back it financially.
  • Angel Investors – These individuals provide capital in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity.
  • Venture Capitalists – They manage pooled funds from many investors to invest in start-ups and small businesses. They typically come in when you have a proven business model and want to scale, not just start.
  • Loans and Grants – Traditional bank loans, microloans, or government grants are also viable options, especially for start-ups with lower capital needs.
  • Bootstrapping – Often overlooked, but funding your start-up from your savings or with the help of friends and family is also a valid method, especially if you want to retain full control of your company.

Marketing and Branding

Marketing and Branding

You should have a clear understanding of your target market so you can design products, services, social media channels, and marketing messages tailored specifically for them. Market research helps set clear objectives and goals, ensuring your marketing efforts aren’t just shots in the dark.

To come up with effective marketing strategies, you’ll want to construct a solid marketing strategy by doing the following:

1. Segmentation

To target specific groups more effectively, break down the market into smaller segments based on demographics, geography, psychographics, and behaviors.

2. Surveys and Feedback

To understand your target market’s needs, preferences, and pain points, use tools like questionnaires, interviews, and online survey platforms to gather qualitative and quantitative data.

3. Competitive Analysis

To find potential insights and gaps in the market, keep an eye on your competition. Understand their strengths, weaknesses, marketing strategies, and customer perceptions.

4. Environmental Factors

Monitor the external macro-environmental factors affecting your organization, such as socio-cultural, technological, economic, environmental, and political factors.

Cultivating a Brand Identity

Cultivating a Brand Identity

A well-crafted brand identity stands out in a crowded marketplace. It can inspire customer trust and loyalty and lead to repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals. To cultivate a brand identity, voice, and image, you’ll want to pay attention to the elements of Brand Identity:

  • Logo and Colors – are the visual elements people will associate with your brand. You can create your own logo or hire someone on Fiverr to do it for you.
  • Brand Voice – is the tone and style of your communications. For instance, a brand targeting teenagers might have a fun and playful voice, while one targeting professionals might have a more serious and authoritative voice.
  • Brand Image is the perception of your brand in the minds of customers. Advertising and customer experiences, testimonials, reviews, and the overall quality of products or services craft your brand image.
  • Storytelling is your brand’s story; its history and mission can deeply resonate with customers, creating a connection beyond just the product or service.

Marketing Plan

You’ll want to market your business on platforms your target market uses.

Social Media Marketing

Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok allow brands to engage directly with their audience. Each platform has its unique audience, so brands should tailor their messages accordingly.

Email Campaigns

Despite the rise of social media, email remains an effective way to reach customers directly, especially for personalized offers, newsletters, and updates.

Content Marketing

Blogs, videos, podcasts, and infographics can help establish a brand as an authority in its field, driving organic traffic and engagement. You’ll want to learn how to start a blog, as the content you create can help drive organic traffic, improve your website’s SEO ranking, and position your brand as an industry authority. Your content strategy should speak to your target market, leveraging keyword research to ensure optimization.

Traditional Marketing

Depending on the target audience, traditional channels like TV, radio, and print can still be very effective.

When creating marketing materials, it’s important to remember to create high-quality marketing materials with relevant content that provides value to the target audience.

All marketing materials should have a consistent look and feel and reflect the brand identity. Whether signing up for a newsletter, following on social media, or making a purchase, clear CTAs guide the audience on what to do next.

Building a Team

Building a Team

While your business may start with you as a solopreneur, you may eventually need to hire someone to scale it. It’s important to recognize when it’s time to hire people to ensure you have a strong team that strengthens your weaknesses. You’ll want to foster a company culture that encourages growth and learning and aligns with your brand values.

Operational Framework

A successful business runs like a well-oiled machine. You must create systems that automate your systems and business, from invoicing to payroll. Remember the power of customer relationship management systems to streamline and enhance the customer journey.

Implementation and Growth

Implementation and Growth

It’s essential for a company to regularly assess its performance and benchmark against the goals it sets in its business plan. As an entrepreneur, you need to be agile and recognize when it’s time to pivot or introduce new strategies. Always stay organized and be on the lookout for where you can improve.

Continuous Learning

When creating a business as an entrepreneur, make sure your business adapts and grows; you need to keep up with the industry changes and start researching, learning, and seeking ways to innovate and refine your offering.

Conclusion

Conclusion

To the many aspiring entrepreneurs interested in success, understand that creating a business plan is just the launchpad for success. The exciting journey of building a business, establishing a brand, and realizing your vision truly starts afterward.

FAQ’s: What Must an Entrepreneur Do After Creating a Business Plan

Q1: After creating a business plan, what’s the next essential step for aspiring entrepreneurs?

A: Creating a business plan is just the beginning. Implementation and regular refining are vital to transforming your business idea into a successful venture.

Q2: Why is understanding the business structure critical after crafting a strong business plan? 

A: Choosing the right business structure, such as a limited liability company, impacts tax obligations, personal liability, and potential investors’ perceptions.

Q3: How significant is social media marketing in a solid marketing strategy?

A: Social media marketing is important for targeting your specific audience. Utilizing social media channels enhances brand visibility and engagement.

Q4: Why should market research continue even after developing a thorough business plan? 

Continuous market research helps entrepreneurs adapt to industry trends, understand their target market better, and refine marketing strategies for success.

Q5: What legal requirements must a new business owner be aware of? Ensuring you have the necessary business license, intellectual property protection, and a tax ID number are crucial steps to operate legally.

Q6: How can I attract investors with my business plan? 

Highlighting financial projections, an executive summary, and clear market research can draw potential investors’ interest. A well-crafted business idea backed by data makes a difference.

Q7: Why is brand identity more than just marketing materials? 

A cohesive brand identity encompasses brand voice, brand image, and consistent messaging across marketing channels, cementing a recognizable presence for potential customers.

Q8: When should I start hiring to build a strong team? 

Hire people when the workload surpasses capacity or when specific skills can drive the business forward. Team building is a cornerstone of business growth.

Q9: How can I ensure my marketing plan is effective?

A solid marketing strategy incorporates feedback, uses both digital and traditional marketing channels, and evolves based on target audience needs.

Q10: Is email marketing still relevant, given the dominance of social media? 

Yes, especially for specific target markets. Integrating email with social media marketing offers a comprehensive approach, ensuring you reach more potential customers.

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I'm Celina. I help emerging entrepreneurs learn how to start a profitable blog and grow an online business. 

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