So, you've got a great idea for a business, but you don't know how to go about getting the startup funds you need. You might think that looking for investors is the first step. However, before you do that, you'll need a business lawyer to help you put your business plan together. Lenders look at this plan to see if your idea is worthy of their investment. This guide explains what you should think of and have written down before you and your lawyer create your business plan.
Purpose and Market
Your business plan is the blueprint of your operation. It explains the purpose of your business, who your target market is and how you plan to sell your product or services to them. Write these things down and have them ready when you see your attorney to begin the process of building your business plan.
You'll also need to know the cost of manufacturing or supplies if you're offering a product or service, respectively. Additionally, plan on providing information on the customer's price and your expected profit margin.
Goals and Objectives
The goals and objectives section details how your purpose will come to life and what your overall goals are. Detail everything that you hope to accomplish in your business over the next several years. This includes how many people you plan to hire, sales projections based on the cost of manufacturing, marketing and labor.
This section should also detail the opportunities for growth, based on your own research of similar companies. For example, do you plan on opening up satellite offices or offering franchise opportunities for promising franchisees in other parts of the country?
Strengths and Weaknesses
Think of the strengths and weaknesses section of a business plan as a job interview. This will take some time to write out because you'll need to be completely honest with yourself.
Consider what you do best that investors might love. Then write it out in a way that sells yourself, without sounding overly conceited. Your business lawyer will be great at this, so enlist their help.
Investors love it when a potential business owner is honest about their weaknesses. However, don't just list your weaknesses. Instead, provide them with details on how you plan to overcome them, whether it be hiring people to fill in the gaps, or taking classes centered around those weaknesses. You'll impress investors by demonstrating that you're aware of your flaws and are making steps to prevent them from interfering with the business.
Handling Potential Liability
As difficult as it is to think of negative situations that might come along, it's important to know how you'll handle any potential liabilities. Write down information about your attorney, who you plan to purchase liability insurance with, and, if your state requires the purchase of separate worker's compensation insurance, provide the details of that policy as well.
Once you have all these things written down, visit a business attorney to request their help in developing the best business plan possible. Expect this to take a little time, because you want the best plan to impress investors. Once the plan is developed, take your lawyer with you when meeting with investors to answer any questions they may have.