What must an entrepreneur do after creating a business plan?
From putting legally binding documents in place to keeping things impartial, here are 10 answers to the question, “What can an entrepreneur do after creating a business plan?”
- Protect Intellectual Property
- Review Your Business Plans Often
- Test Your Product or Service
- Get Outside Perspectives
- Create a Well-Rounded Team
- Execute Plans Effectively
- Research Your Market
- Pitch to Potential Investors
- Develop an MVP
- Falsify Your Own Theories
Protect Intellectual Property
As someone with years of experience working with different businesses, I’ve found that the most important thing to do after creating a business plan is to protect your intellectual property.
This includes having legally binding contracts and agreements in place, as well as researching trademarks and copyrights that could prevent you from marketing yourself appropriately.
Protecting your idea or product ensures your success over the long term because it gives you an edge over potential competitors.
Keeping up-to-date with changes to laws related to protecting intellectual property is essential if you want to stay ahead of the game.
Review Your Business Plans Often
Let’s look at the purpose of the business plan, which is usually to register a business, secure financing, secure business partners, and plan the projection of your business.
As a business coach, if I had to pick one thing my entrepreneur clients must do, it would be the main thing most do not do, which is “plan the projection of your business.”
The previous reasons ensure entrepreneurs take the next steps, i.e., financing, registering, and partners, but I often find that many do not use the business plan for the main reason it stands for.
Entrepreneurs should review their plans at least once a year (I recommend every quarter or six months) to ensure they are on the right path based on their plan, or if their decisions and resources need a shift to get back on track or change direction.
A business plan should be a working document that we, as entrepreneurs, lean on, adjust, and expand as needed.
Test Your Product or Service
One thing an entrepreneur must do after creating a business plan is to test the product or service. They can offer the product or service to a select group of customers.
Choose customers based on demographic information and geographic location and test this market. This test determines if there is a demand for the product or service and identifies any issues that need to be addressed. Once we address these issues, we can launch the product or service to the public.
Get Outside Perspectives
Consult with others for outside perspectives. Other entrepreneurs or industry experts may notice gaps or errors in your business plan based on their professional experiences.
We all have our blind spots, so it’s always helpful for others to point them out to us.
Create a Well-Rounded Team
Once you’ve created your business plan, you need to think about the people you need to have on your team to make that business plan happen and to bring your vision to fruition.
You’ll want to outline the team required to get your business off the ground and the skills that each team member will need, both as a whole and individually, to launch your business model.
Execute Plans Effectively
A business plan will remain a plan unless you take action. Entrepreneurs can use it as a guide to come up with a clear and concise execution plan.
It helps to have the right people on board with aligned goals and beliefs. Starting a business requires a healthy mix of prudence and guts. Make sure you cover all angles and trust the process.
Research Your Market
An entrepreneur must do market research to better understand how to bring their business to a targeted audience.
Researching marketing, such as creating surveys, is a great way to help gather the information needed to make their business plan successful. Studying market research can narrow down the best methods of marketing.
Pitch to Potential Investors
Investors won’t bite on an entrepreneurial idea without a plan. Once you have yours established, you can start getting investors on board.
Make sure they know how extensive your plan is. Make sure they know it addresses everything. It’s not a bona fide plan without being composed of your business goals, the methods for reaching those goals, and a detailed timeline.
Rely on the details of your plan to make your pitch. The specifics of your plan should be fresh in your mind because you just finished hammering it out.
You should be able to answer every follow-up question confidently, and you should be able to imbue those investors with the same level of confidence. Make your plan a selling point.
Develop an MVP
Right after creating their business plan, an entrepreneur should always develop an MVP for their product or service. An MVP, or minimal viable product, is a very bare-bones version of the product.
Think of it as a skeleton that tests if your business idea is going to work or not. Testing an MVP can help you save tens of thousands of dollars in product development costs.
Falsify Your Own Theories
The Falsification Principle, first outlined by Karl Popper, suggests that scientists must seek to falsify their own theories, rather than prove them. This helps scientists remove themselves from personal biases, keeping things impartial and rational.
When starting a business, we do the opposite. Our excitement and enthusiasm blind us to potentially glaring errors in reasoning, setting us up for failure down the line.
Once you have written your business plan, imagine yourself as a neutral third party, and try to tear it apart. Poke holes in everything, highlight every weakness, vulnerability, or lack of contingency, and show no mercy.
If your business plan withstands your scrutiny, then you are ready to move forward, but if it doesn’t, then you have saved yourself considerable cost and stress, allowing you to go back to the drawing board.
Submit Your Answer
Would you like to submit an alternate answer to the question, “What is one thing an entrepreneur must do after creating a business plan?”