Getting ahead with a good business plan

Many people have the dream of someday being their own boss and some have already figured out the route to get there. One of the main reasons hindering that dream becoming a reality is actually getting the business off the ground from start-up to profitable entity.

You may fall into the category of one of those entrepreneurs with the vision, but handicapped by the start-up capital. You probably even have toyed around with the idea of getting a loan to kick-start your venture, but wait just a little longer– until you know for sure what you want to do!

Many small business entrepreneurs run into bankruptcy or see themselves knee deep in debt for, perhaps, one simple reason– they didn’t prepare a good business plan.

Think about it, before building your house you must first submit a building plan to the Parish Council to get the plan approved– in the same way you should have a great plan before you start pumping money, valuable time and resources into a business venture– more importantly your dream business.

Why it’s important to have a good business plan?

Starting up a business may sometimes need more capital investment than you personally have and that may also mean getting a loan or making a pitch to investors. You must now ‘sell’ your plan to acquire it and a good business plan will go a far way in getting the lending agency or investors to see that you are worth their investment.

In your plan, be sure to introduce your business idea with all the key information: what you will be doing, how you will make money and why you think your business will have a competitive edge.

Your plan should also show that you have done your homework and part of that knowledge is being aware of the existing and future business climate of your new venture.

Questions such as: is it a prime location for this kind of business? Are there similar businesses operating in that area? Is there room for another? What competitive advantage is the business bringing to the mix? Is it unique enough and satisfying a significant demand? What are the threats to entering the market?

Make sure you have done your research and already have an idea of the start-up cost involved. It may not go well for you or the new business if you miscalculate enormously!

If you are way out of your comfort zone to get this plan done, there are a number of organizations, like the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), that are available to guide and offer you the kind of assistance you need in putting together a great business plan. Or, identify someone within your network who already has the experience or is skilled to provide some help.

Whichever entity or individual you turn to, ensure you are ‘armed and ready’ to skyrocket your dream!

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Cecelia Campbell- Livingston - Contributor
Cecelia Campbell-Livingston has over 20 years of journalism experience. Her career started as a writer for the now defunct Jamaica Record, before moving on to The Jamaica Herald/XNews. Later, she served as Coordinator for the teen publication, Teen Herald. In 2008 she joined the staff of the Jamaica Observer as an entertainment writer. Since December 2014, she has been the Clarendon correspondent for the Jamaica Gleaner.

The views expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of JAMPRO

2 thoughts on “Getting ahead with a good business plan”

  1. Jennifer says:

    Great piece, starting my own business. Not easy down here

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