Writing an effective business plan

Texas residents thinking about starting a new venture likely know that 80 percent of new businesses fail within their first two years of operation. While some of these businesses do not survive due to unforeseen circumstances, many others would have had at least a fighting chance if their owners had taken the time to put together a comprehensive business plan. Having a thorough business plan can also make it easier to secure financing.

Entrepreneurs should begin their business planning by thoroughly researching their market and competition. Research can uncover market needs and opportunities that may have otherwise gone unnoticed, and it may also provide ideas for ways to make the new business different and attractive to prospective customers. Business owners should also be candid about their own shortcomings and strive to develop strategies to compensate for areas where their competitors will likely have an advantage.

Gathering the data necessary to compile an effective business plan can be a challenge. While the Internet can provide an abundance of free information, it may still be wise to purchase market research from a respected provider. Entrepreneurs should also have their completed business plans reviewed by colleagues and professionals such as their attorneys and accountants. Having a plan checked could reveal errors or lead to new ideas or strategies.

The months leading up to the launch of a new venture can be an exciting time for entrepreneurs, and they are often tempted to get their doors open as soon as possible. However, a business owner faces some of the most important decisions in these early stages, and mistakes made here can be difficult to correct in the future. An attorney with experience in business law could explain the tax and liability implications of sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies and corporations when choosing the most appropriate legal entity form for the new venture.

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