If you are thinking about starting your own brokerage, you most likely already know what a business plan is and have heard that you need one. But do you truly understand the purpose of a business plan? Does it really matter if you have one for your small business? And how can you create a small business plan that is actually useful? The introduction and tips below will lay the groundwork for creating an effective small business plan for your new brokerage.
Small Business Plans Explained
In it’s simplest form, a business plan is a document that outlines the basics about your business, products, and services; the market you are targeting; the goals you have for your business; and how you will achieve those goals.
A business plan is one of several important plans you should have when you are starting your brokerage, the others being a marketing plan and a financial plan. Your business plan should pull all three of these plans together, incorporating elements of your marketing plan and your financial plan into a comprehensive document. Think of your business plan as a map or blueprint that will guide your business from the start-up phase through establishment and eventually business growth.
Businesses thrive when they have a clear goal and path to success. Writing a business plan for your company puts you on that path. Here are a few best practices to keep in mind when writing your business plan:
Share Your Plan
Some business owners think it’s best to keep a business plan under wraps. But, in order for your company to thrive, every employee should be aware of the plan’s dynamics. It helps foster a sense of focus and should be shared.
Use a Basic Outline
Your business plan doesn’t have to be an elaborate document or fancily formatted. It simply needs to be clear and easy to decipher by you and your employees. Start with an executive summary, which you’ll use to describe the particular field in which your business aims to succeed.
Then, use the SWOT outline to list your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. That’s it! Be sure to add details, but don’t worry about the length of the document or the number of items you discuss in your outline. Your plan should be thorough but easy to refer to and understand.
Give it Some Thought
As mentioned above, your business plan should be easy to understand but thorough. A solid plan will involve some research if you intend for the document to be useful to those reading it. While it might seem like boring homework, the opportunity to research business trends and market data is one of the bonuses of writing a business plan.
Stick to the Plan
Your business plan isn’t a task to get out of the way, never to think of it again. Think of it as a road map to your business – always worth checking to make sure you’re on the right path. Keep in mind that you may need to revise your business plan as your company grows. Keep it current by revising research and updating estimates as new information comes available.
What We Do
The Commercial Loan Broker Institute gives you the tools and skills you need to become a successful commercial loan broker. We know what it takes for your brokerage to be successful. We help you through every step of the way, including creating a comprehensive small business plan once you’ve completed our training program. We are dedicated to your success as a broker and can’t wait to help your brokerage succeed.