If you’re in the field of developing your own business either as a freelance web developer or as a business entity, it is imperative to your business to have a written business plan. Chances of succeeding without a guiding business plan are very slim.
Business plans help provide you and your business a strategy to test your ideas while ensuring your marketing plan is effective.
Below is a brief guide for writing a business plan based on a business as a freelance web developer. After writing your business plan, it’s always a good idea to keep it updated as your business grows.
The Executive Summary:
Basically, this portion will summarize the 5 W’s (who, what, where, where and why) about your business. This should include what services you’ll offer, your target market and how you will reach this market.
This part of the business plan is dedicated to your competitors. You need to outline who else is in the same category as you by defining your market. Then compiling research about the things your competitors offer and their prices for service.
When you’ve summarized your competitors, you will also need to provide a summary of how your business will be different. You will also include the estimated sales from your industry and what kinds of trends are happening in web development.
After you’ve defined your target market, this portion of the business plan will explain that market as well as how your business is going to generate new clients. Important information to include will be the demographics, physical locations of the market, all the boundaries, and what the needs are of your prospective clients. A good way to get this done is by researching and compiling a list of other companies in your target market and reviewing trends.
This portion of the business plan is to go over your weaknesses and strengths for being a web developer. This step is one of the most important. You’ll need to again, conduct some research to find trends and see how other businesses failed. You’ll want to search out any threats your business may come face-to-face with as well as the opportunities.
This part involves writing out all the ways in which you’ll attract prospective clients. This may include networking at business events, internet, and newsletters, targeting certain companies or even cold-calling. Also, very important to add is pricing plans and promotional offerings you intend to use.
In this section, you will need to outline how your business can operate legally by county and state. You need to establish whether you are a company or a sole proprietor as well as whether or not you’ll be required to purchase a business license and/or tax ID number. You’ll want to include any fees you may have to pay, due dates and the method of payment for each collector.
This portion is for writing out all your business finances that you’ll need to stay in business as well as your personal cost of living. Most importantly, is keeping in mind things you’ll need to pay for in the future. Are there any extras that you haven’t thought about? You definitely should spend the most time on this to be sure you don’t leave anything out.