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Creating a business plan can sound a pretty daunting. How much detail do you include? Where is the best place to start? Putting things in writing can seem pretty real, but that’s the point! A well-written business plan will help you to transform your dreams and passion into strategic, well-planned action, and it’s an important step that you shouldn’t skip. Many equine businesses struggle or even fail when they don’t develop a proper business plan, as a well-researched business plan can uncover risks and help you avoid them well in advance. Research from the agriculture industry shows that farms with written business plans average returns on assets that are five times higher than those without business plans. One of the great things about a business plan as a tool is looking back on it as years and milestones pass. You’ll see things that you achieved, things that you changed, challenges that you met and, very likely, many ways that you surprised yourself!
So how do you write a good quality business plan?
Success comes with careful planning and preparation. This is something you’ve likely had plenty of experience with already, when you consider your life with horses in a new lens. Maybe you are a regular on the competition circuit, in which case you likely map out everything you need to do in the run-up to a competition. You’ve practiced your test or patterns, you’ve planned all the logistics, you’ve prepared as many details in advance to take the pressure off on the day. You’ve probably got back-up options ready as well, like extra tack packed away on the trailer or maybe a friend to lend some support. You should use this same way of thinking when it comes to planning your business and tackling your business plan. You wouldn’t go into a competition without a solid foundation of preparation, so why wouldn’t you do the same for your business?
What should a great business plan include? Here are six key topics you need to cover:
There are other elements that you can consider including within your business plan, but these are the must-haves that will provide you with a solid foundation. The more time and effort you dedicate to your business plan, the more you increase your likelihood of setting up a successful, self-sustaining business that will last for years to come. In the next article, we’ll discuss the importance of finding a mentor to provide objective feedback on your business plan and help guide you on your entrepreneurial journey!
If you have questions about writing a business plan, please let me know! You can find me at email@example.com