by Karla Darocas, Instructor

Business & IT Skills Training

Business planning is like city driving – if you don’t know the street name and have good knowledge of the city – you are never going to find your way. Having a business plan is like having GPS tracking. It gives you a ‘visual’ map to follow.

Clear, convincing and tangible ideas will not only make a business plan come to life – if it is really good – an investor will take only 10 minutes to see that his money can make more profit in your enterprise – than if it sits around in a bank!

Business planning doesn’t have to be a scary process – in fact, once you learn the ‘recipe’ for producing business models – you will be surprised at just how much fun it is and how easy the business ideas start to flow.

Good business ideas don’t have to be totally original. Think about great art – most of it is just an amalgamation of what the artist has seen before.

When thinking about Spain – a good business could be made by introducing a new product or service into the Spanish marketplace. It might be an ‘old’ product or service in another country – but once transported to Spain – it has a new life.

Taking a traditional product or service and giving it a new twist is always a popular way to launch a business idea. ‘Reinventing the Wheel’ is a concept used by hundreds of companies who watch consumer trends.
The Big Questions

When starting to design your business plan – and you have secured your business idea and what product or service you’re selling, you must ask yourself some very important questions.

WHO are you selling it too?

WHY is that group particularly attractive?

HOW large is your target market?

HOW fast is it growing?

WHERE are the opportunities and threats?

HOW will you deal with them?

Most of this information can be found through industry associations, townhalls, census data or even from other business owners. Source all of your information in case you are asked to back up your claims or need to update your business plan.
The Stupid Ego

Don’t make the common mistake of thinking your business is unique. Instead, get real and size up the competition: Who are they? What do they sell? How much market share do they have? Why will customers choose your product or service instead of theirs? What are the barriers to entry? Include indirect competitors–those with similar capabilities that currently cater to a different market but could choose to challenge you down the road.

These are just some brain testers to get you started. A professional business plan has a set structure and guidelines to follow and when it is finished it should be no longer 30 or 40 pages, including the appendix of supporting documents.
The Big Ideas

If you are thinking of launching a business in Spain – you might want to join a business club that offers some business planning support. Group workshops are a great way to share and test your business ideas before you go to all the effort and work of scripting a business plan.

If you live in the Costa Blanca North area and would like to join one of my educational business planning workshops e-mail for more information.