start a business

To have a successful business in any industry you need to do 5 things:

  1. Decide to start (the hardest step)
  2. Clarify your vision
  3. Identify your business opportunities and meet with people you trust and respect
  4. Develop a strategy for capital: loan, investment, customer, etc.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4

Format

The format you choose will depend on what stage your business is at and who you are presenting your business plan to. When you first start it's important to get a crystal clear plan without getting hung up on overly complicated strategy and projections. At this stage, the plan will be for your own planning purposes and you may want to show it to friends and family and other mentors. Later, if you start looking for significant sums of money from investors, you will need a longer, more formal business plan, complete with detailed financial projections.

Market Research

Research is vital to validate your idea. You can do a great deal of this online and, importantly, directly with knowledgeable people in business, in your particular sector and with potential customers. This will give you valuable perspective you can't get on your own and you will likely find yourself making important changes to your plan based on what you find out in the outside world.

By Timothy Ferriss