time to plan

The Basics

There are two main reasons why you will want to write a business plan.

The first is for internal use, this will be summarizing 

ts or "business advisors" will recommend writing a full business plan with every detail, goal, strategy and intention written down. Realistically, this is not practical, when starting off, it is necessary to improvise, and make decisions based off of the current state of your business. Over-detailed plans tend to limit your options, and you will find yourself diverting from the plan quite frequently. Therefore, creating a plan that implements a few basic standards, obtainable goals and effective yet realistic strategies  

Learn

Learn about your competitors, figure out where they are lacking, figure out where they are dominating.

(tip: find online reviews of your competitors, see what satisfied or disappointed their customers)

Learn about about your customers, what do they want, how do they find what they want, what appeals to them?

(tip: say you are selling cleaning services, role play being a customer, ditch all your industry knowledge for a few minutes, start from scratch, try to find the best cleaning company for your needs, take note of what your search yields, how easy it to get informative details, such as specifications, pricing etc. play the role of different kinds of customers, be an office manager looking for a weekly cleaning, be a mother needing house cleaning twice a week, be an event planner looking for a company to clean up after events)

Get Advice

This one might be tough to do but will give you a huge head start. Talk to other successful business owners, they made good decisions and bad mistakes to get to where they are, you can learn what to avoid and what to pursuit from them. (Paying a professional consultant might be a worthy investment (we will get to that later) but probably not right away) Ask your friends or family to introduce you to business owners they know, or reach out directly. You can message them on social media or email them, while it may feel uncomfortable, understand that they were once where you are and will often be very happy to give you some valuable pointers.