11 Things You Can Learn in Making a Business Plan

With all this research that you have to conduct to complete writing your business plan, you can learn so much during the process.

The 11 things you can learn in making a business plan include:

  1. Learning about your target market.
  2. Setting goals for your business.
  3. Who your competition will be.
  4. How to think strategically.
  5. Creative ways to fund your business.
  6. The marketing plan for your business.
  7. The patience that it takes to begin a start-up.
  8. The focus required as a small business owner.
  9. The specific pricing structure for your products (or services).
  10. How to budget your time.
  11. How you are unique amongst other small business owners.

Everything that you do in your life is a learning experience no matter how big or small or how significant or insignificant it may seem to you. What you learn while writing your business plan will propel you to higher successes in your future.

1. Learn About Your Target Market

11 Things You Can Learn in Making a Business Plan

Every business has a specific target market based on the product and/or service that you are offering. Even if other small businesses offer a similar product or service in your area, you have a niche or something different about your business that will shape the nature of the target market in which your business will thrive.

For example, a bounce rental business could serve families with kids ages 2-12, but you may have bouncers available that are geared more toward families with children ages 2-5. Hence, your target market would be families with children of toddler age.

2. Set Goals For Your Business

When you are just starting out your business, you need to outline why. What makes you want to start your business? What do you want your business to become? What is your mission statement, and what do you want out of your business? Whether it’s simply because you have an idea and want to make a profit, or if you find a market that isn’t being served or underserved in your community, outline why you want to start your business. This can help you write out your mission statement in the future, help you to show possible investors reasons why they should invest in your company, or convince potential employees to work for you. Your goals should also be something tangible—whether it’s a number of people that you’re serving or a profit goal, it doesn’t matter. Having something written in your business plan will give you something to strive for.

3. Who Your Competition Will Be

Before getting into your chosen business, you may have never thought about businesses in the surrounding area that may offer the same product and/or service as you.

Note how many small businesses within a 25-50 mile radius operate in the same industry as you. Find out how they run their businesses, what products and services they offer, and if they are the same or different from one another. This way, you can find a niche that they do not have so that you can differentiate yourself from the competition.

For example, if you are running a candle business, your local competition may not have votive candles available for purchase. This is a chance to develop a niche and offer votive candles to the local consumers who may have trouble acquiring them because no one is carrying them in stock.

4. How to Think Strategically

When writing a business plan, you are asked to project your first year’s sales month-by-month. This can be difficult to do, especially if you have never run a business before.

What you can do is look at business plan samples for businesses similar to yours to find out how much they usually project to make in a month. Add 10% more to that for just in case expenses and another 10% that will be your profit.

Another way is to add up all of your monthly expenses such as rent, supplies cost, and labor and then add 10% to 20% to that amount which (after expenses) will be your leftover profit.

Hence, writing a business plan will help you to think strategically to get to the end goal of where you want to be.

5. Creative Ways to Fund Your Business

There are more ways than one to fund your small business. As you continually research funding options, you will learn creative ways that you can fund the start-up costs for your small business.

Funding options include:

  • Donations from family and friends.
  • Crowdfunding campaigns such as GoFundMe.
  • Small business grants.
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) grants and/or loans (depends if you qualify).
  • Business loans from a bank.

A great creative option is to host a fundraiser to gather start-up funding. Sell the products and/or services that you would normally offer at local community day events, funfairs, or even in your front yard (as long as you have a permit from your local city government office).

Check out these types of loans you can get for your business!

6. The Marketing Plan For Your Business

11 Things You Can Learn in Making a Business Plan

Writing the marketing section of your business plan will help you to discover how you will market your small business. The more ways that you market your business, the higher exposure that it will receive to be able to garner more loyal customers.

You will learn that there are more ways to market your business than handing out business cards and posting flyers around the community, which are the old-fashioned methods of drumming up business.

Other marketing options include:

  • Social media marketing.
  • Building and promoting your business website link.
  • Give free samples to new clients before they purchase your products.
  • Rotating promotions on your products and services.
  • Enacting a loyalty program for your small business.

As you explore a wide variety of marketing options, you will get creative and think of ways to market it which no one has done before!

7. The Patience That It Takes to Begin a Start-Up

They say that Rome was not built in a day. Hence, it takes much patience to start a small business. You cannot just create your products and immediately open up a shop on your front lawn.

You will learn the patience it takes to finish writing your business plan, promoting it to potential investors, and getting shot down more times than you will be supported.

Your patience will be tried when you attempt to create your product but fail a few times before it gets to be just where you want it.

No matter the situation, starting a small business will require so much patience on your part, so there’s no room for being impatient.

8. The Focus Required As a Small Business Owner

Another important virtue you will learn when writing your business plan is how to intensely focus. Writing in itself requires so much focus and dedication. You have to think strategically about how you will pair your words in such a way to properly communicate the ideas that your investors want to know when they read your business plan.

Overall, your ability to focus will be tested on the days that you may not feel like working towards opening your small business. The road may seem long, but as long as you keep a crisp focus on where you want your business to go, you will be on your way to success!

9. The Specific Pricing Structure For Your Products or Services

When you are in business, you are of course in it to make money. As part of your business plan, you will be asked to not only describe the nature of your products and services but to specify their prices as well.

You will have to develop your pricing structure based on:

  • The cost of creating and offering each product or service.
  • How much profit that you want to make off of each product or service offered.
  • How the projected amount of projects sold or services offered will play into your monthly revenue projections.

For example, if you have a baking business and it costs only $1 to make a dozen cupcakes, there is a potential for a great profit when you sell these dozen cupcakes for $5. You can have add ons be extra cost to the consumer if they want sprinkles or other embellishments on the basic cupcakes.

10. How to Budget Your Time

A business plan can be as short as 10 pages or even as long as 20 pages or more. Knowing this, it will take a long time to fully complete your business plan.

You must budget your time to:

  • Conduct research on your competition, industry, pricing structure, wholesale suppliers, and more.
  • To write and edit your business plan as needed.
  • Add more information as necessary if it pertains to your business.
  • Balance your other responsibilities in between writing your business plan so that it can eventually get done in time.

11. How You Are Unique Amongst Other Small Business Owners

11 Things You Can Learn in Making a Business Plan

Every small business has its own origin story. While they may offer similar products and/or services to the public, each business owner does it differently than the other. The quality of customer service offered, the environment in which you offer those products and services, and the approach you take to interact with clients are all ways in which you can differentiate yourself from the competition and stand out as unique in your small business.

What is your “why” for starting your small business? Once you answer this question, you will discover what makes you unique as a small business owner.

Get Your Business Plan Started Today!

While it may seem daunting to start writing your business plan, do not sleep on it! Even if you dedicated a half-hour to one hour per day working on your business plan, you will have your business started sooner than not working on it all!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I learn to budget my time better?

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You can budget your time better by:

  • Creating a schedule to follow every day,
  • Set aside a specific time each day to work on your business plan.
  • Block out each section of time for research, writing, and proofreading/editing.

2. How can I become more focused?

You can become more focused by:

  • Blocking out all other noises in your environment.
  • Working on your business plan during the quiet time of your day.
  • Drinking water before you start writing.
  • Find what keeps you focused!

Please note that the contents of this blog are for informational and entertainment purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Any action taken based on the information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Additionally, all images used in this blog are generated under the CC0 license of Creative Commons, which means they are free to use for any purpose without attribution.