when people dismissed the very notion of a business model as something from the old economy. If you build a website that’s cool enough, the thinking went, success will follow. Well, it didn’t always. A lot of clever websites found themselves scrambling for a way to pay the bills.
Even many conventional businesses need to think about their business model to ensure success. A hair salon may make some of its money from cutting, shampooing, and styling hair, for example, but it may also find that it can substantially boost the bottom line by selling hair care products.
What does your business need to get off the ground?
Start-ups require a lot of enthusiasm and hard work, and often plenty of cold cash. One of the biggest blunders new companies make is not thinking ahead about how much money they’ll need to get up and running. When the money runs out before the doors open, the best business idea in the world isn’t going to spell success.
A good business plan must take into account everything that is required to start — and how much it’s likely to cost. Building a little cushion into those estimates is always wise.
What is the operating budget?
The financial section of your business plan also must address how much it will cost you to run your business, month by month, and how much you need to earn to meet your expenses and make a profit. Chances are you’ll need to make a bunch of decision up-front before you come up with a reliable number — decisions about where you’ll do business, what kinds of equipment and staff you’ll need, a marketing budget, and so on.
You’ll then need to think about how much you’ll charge for your product and service and how much you can expect to take in month by month.