The Details are in the Details

Sometimes entrepreneurs get ahead of themselves and try to tackle too much too quickly, which can result in not doing anything well. This is especially true in the early stages of starting a business when it’s easy to set overly ambitious goals. Focus is critical since resources, mostly time & money, are limited.

A good first step for starting business owners is to research their ideas well to prove there is a market need they are going to fill, how they intended to fill it, and exactly how they are going to make money at it. One of the most common mistakes made by budding entrepreneurs is to not define their ideas so that they were narrow enough to actually be executed based on their skillset, experience, or funding. Almost all business ideas initially start off too broad and usually spell trouble.

Another detail that is often overlooked, or maybe just skimmed over because it’s no fun to talk about, is your budget. A list of the costs of all marketing and sales efforts for your start-up time period, before you have ever sold anything is one of the most miscalculated expenses. Many times a homemade, or spur-of-the-moment, business plan will neglect to show many of these start-up expenditures. This is where a professionally researched and written business plan will actually save your money in the long run.

Most businesses take some time to become profitable. Now’s the time to research and run the numbers. Determine how much will you be paying for estimated expenses, producing your product or service, paying rent or employees. Don’t forget any other expenses like insurance or consultants. A good business plan can help you project how many sales you will need in order to cover your costs of opening and operating. Otherwise referred to as your break-even sales point.

Sifting through the major challenges of starting a business and digging into the details of launching it are not the most pleasant tasks that you will perform when starting your new company. However, having a focused and well thought out business plan is a good first step to your success and peace of mind.