There are many steps that you need to take if you are planning on opening a business. One of the steps that people sometimes overlook is creating a business action plan. This plan outlines some of the specifics of starting your business and helping it and yourself stay afloat while you are building it up.

The business action plan isn’t something that is made public. It is an internal document that you can use as a guide. There are a few different points that you need to consider when you are developing this plan.

First, you need to define what goods or services your business is going to provide. This might seem like it is something that will be easy to do, but you might find that it is difficult to drill it down to the specific plan for now. Remember, you can always expand later so only include what you know you will want to offer for the first year or so.

Second, set your business budget. Make sure that you are brutally honest here. The amount you need for the first year is usually a good guide of what you need to plan to spend in that year on your business. There is a possibility that your business won’t make a profit for that year, so you should plan on having to cover the expenses during that time period.

Third, clearly define your customer. This lets you know where to spend your time and money advertising. It can also help you if you are planning on attending any community events since you don’t want to waste your time at those if your target demographic won’t be in attendance.

The better you plan for your business, the more likely it is going to survive and thrive. While this might seem like a waste of time when you are hurrying to get the business up and running, it is an important step.

Source: The Balance, “Create a Business Action Plan,” Rosemary Peavler, accessed Nov. 29, 2017