Maybe you’ve just taken the plunge into the window film business, and you’re eager to install lots of film and rake in the profits. Or perhaps you have been in business for years, have experienced some success in window film, but feel certain you could do better.
In either case, and for anyone who owns and operates a small business, a business plan ought to be near the top of your to-do list. An effective business plan is a living, evolving document that helps you – in fact, makes you – take an objective, arms-length look at what you and your business are doing.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (sba.gov) offers an abundance of articles, resources, and tips to help you write a business plan. Once you have registered as a user of the SBA website, you can use the Business Plan Tool to jump-start your efforts. Another way to begin is by examining your business through one of a number of lenses, as this blog suggests. Or, you can plunge in on your own. The way you choose to attack developing your business plan will depend on your experience, preferences, and overall goals for your business and for your plan.
Here are just some of the components of an effective business plan, as outlined at the SBA “Create Your Business Plan” web page:
Executive Summary. This section appears first in the business plan and is usually considered the most important one. It briefly describes your business and where it has been, where you intend to take it, and why it will be successful when you get it there. The executive summary is instrumental in selling your business to potential funders.
Organization and Management. Even very small companies need to establish a clear structure as to how they’re organized and managed. In this section of a business plan, you spell out who owns the company, who (if anyone) acts as advisors, and who manages which facets of the company’s operations.
Market Analysis. What is the state of the industry your business operates in? Who are your target customers, the ones likely to buy what you’re selling? And who will you compete against in your marketplace for the limited attention and dollars of those customers? These questions, and more, are answered in this section of your business plan.
There’s a great deal more to consider as you look at writing a business plan. Browse the SBA website for more information, or search the topic on the web. Putting in the time and effort to develop a solid business plan is worthwhile, and will give you useful and often surprising insight as to what your business is all about, no matter how long you’ve been running it.