Key Moves for Entrepreneurs After Crafting a Business Plan

Written by Peter Keszegh

A well-crafted business plan is not just a document; it's a roadmap for success that guides entrepreneurs through the complexities of launching and growing their new businesses. 

It outlines goals, strategies, market analysis, financial forecasts, and potential challenges, providing a clear vision and direction. This plan is a critical tool for decision-making and securing funding, ensuring that all efforts are aligned toward achieving the business objectives. 

For entrepreneurs, investing time and resources into developing a comprehensive business plan can be the difference between thriving and struggling in the competitive business landscape. That said, this guide will answer the question — What must an entrepreneur do after creating a business plan?

securing your funding after you craft your business plan

Securing funding

After developing a solid business plan, one of the next critical steps for entrepreneurs is securing the necessary funding to bring their vision to life. Understanding the different funding options and pitching your business effectively are crucial skills at this stage.

Funding options

Exploring funding options is pivotal, as it determines the resources available to initiate business operations and fuel growth.

  • Bootstrapping: This involves funding your business venture using your own savings or revenue generated from the business itself. While it allows for full control over the business, it may limit growth due to financial constraints.

  • Loans: Traditional bank loans or lines of credit are common funding sources. These require a strong business plan and often collateral to secure the loan. Government-backed loans might offer more favorable terms for startups.

  • Angel investors: Wealthy individuals who provide capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity. They can also offer valuable guidance and networks but will require a share of the business.

  • Venture capital (VC) firms: These firms invest in early-stage companies with high growth potential in exchange for equity. Securing VC funding requires demonstrating significant market potential and a strong team.

  • Crowdfunding: Platforms like Kickstarter allow you to raise small amounts of money from many people, often in exchange for product pre-orders or rewards. This method can also be a marketing tool, building community and validating the product concept.

Crafting compelling pitches

A compelling pitch is essential for attracting the right investors and securing the funds needed to launch and grow your business.

  • Understand your audience: Tailor your pitch to the lender's or investor's specific interests. Focus on aspects of your business that align with their goals and interests.

  • Highlight key points of your business plan: Clearly articulate your value proposition, target market, competitive advantage, and financial projections. Be concise and focus on what makes your business unique and viable.

  • Showcase your team: Investors and lenders often invest in people as much as they invest in ideas. Highlight the experience, skills, and passion of your team.

  • Prepare for questions: Anticipate potential questions about your business model, market analysis, and financial forecasts. Practice answering succinctly and confidently.

  • Use visuals: Effective use of visuals, such as slideshows or prototypes, can help illustrate your points more clearly and keep your audience engaged.

Building your dream team

What must an entrepreneur do after creating a business plan? Behind every successful business is a strong, cohesive team. Bringing your business plan to life hinges not just on the ideas or the funding but significantly on the people who will execute these plans. 

A dream team with complementary skills, expertise, and the right chemistry can turn even the most ambitious business visions into reality.

Importance of a strong team

A strong and dynamic team is the backbone of any successful venture, driving innovation and execution with unmatched synergy.

  • Diverse skills and expertise: Each team member brings a unique set of skills and experiences that, when combined, create a comprehensive skill set. This diversity fosters innovation and problem-solving.

  • Shared vision and goals: A team aligned in vision and goals will move the business forward cohesively, ensuring that all actions contribute to the objectives.

  • Resilience: A strong team can support each other, share the workload, and weather the inevitable challenges and setbacks together, making the business more resilient.

  • Adaptability: A strong team allows you to adapt and pivot when needed, whether due to market changes or unforeseen circumstances.

  • Attracts investors and lenders: A talented and cohesive team is an attractive proposition for investors and lenders as it shows that your business has the potential to succeed with the right people driving it.

businesswoman using a laptop

Tips for building your team

Building the right team requires careful planning, strategic selection, and a nurturing environment to foster growth and unity.

  • Identify key roles: Start by identifying the critical roles that need to be filled to achieve your business goals. Consider the areas of expertise essential for your business sector and the stages of your business plan.

  • Look for complementary skills: Seek individuals whose skills complement each other and fill the gaps in your own skill set. This creates a balanced team capable of tackling various challenges.

  • Share your vision: When recruiting, ensure that candidates understand and are excited about your business vision. Team members passionate about what you're trying to achieve will be more motivated and committed.

  • Cultural fit is crucial: Training can enhance skills, but values and work ethic are often ingrained. Look for individuals with skills that fit your company's culture and values well.

  • Leverage your network: Use your personal and professional networks to find potential team members. Recommendations from trusted sources can help you find talented individuals who share your vision.

  • Consider personality types: A mix of personalities can enhance team dynamics. For instance, creative thinkers can generate ideas, while detail-oriented individuals can focus on execution.

  • Offer equity and incentives: Startups that offer equity or performance-related incentives can attract top talent, aligning their success with the business's success.

Legal foundations

Establishing your business's legal foundations is a critical step affecting everything from your liability and taxes to your ability to raise capital. 

Choosing the right business structure and adhering to legal documents and regulatory requirements are foundational tasks that set the stage for your business's long-term success and compliance.

Choosing the right business structure

The choice of business structure impacts your liability, tax obligations, and the ability to attract investors. The most common types of business structures include sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and corporations.

  • Sole proprietorship: This is the simplest form, where a single individual owns and operates the business. It offers ease of setup and full control but with the downside of personal liability for business debts.

  • Partnership: This involves two or more individuals who share business ownership. Partnerships can be simple to establish and offer shared financial commitment, but they also involve shared liability.

  • Limited liability company (LLC): An LLC combines the liability protection of a corporation with the tax benefits and flexibility of a partnership. It protects owners’ assets from business debts and lawsuits while offering management and profit distribution flexibility.

  • Corporation: Corporations are complex structures that offer the strongest protection against personal liability. They can raise capital through stock sales but face more stringent regulatory requirements and tax obligations.

  • Cooperative: A cooperative is a business owned and operated by its members, who share in the profits and decision-making. They are often used for community-based businesses such as agriculture or housing.

  • Nonprofit organization: Nonprofits are organized to serve a social or charitable purpose rather than generate profit for owners. They have special tax-exempt status but must comply with strict regulations and reporting requirements.

  • Franchise: A franchise is a business model in which the owner licenses their brand, products, and services to another individual or group. It offers support and established branding but involves significant upfront costs and ongoing fees.

  • Joint venture: A joint venture is a temporary partnership between two or more businesses for a specific project or period. It allows for shared resources and expertise and involves shared risks and profits.

businessman signing legal documents

Legal and regulatory requirements

Navigating the maze of legal and regulatory requirements is a critical step for any business, ensuring compliance and safeguarding its operations.

  • Registering your business: Once you’ve chosen your business structure, you must register your business with the appropriate state authorities. This may involve filing articles of incorporation (for corporations) or articles of organization (for LLCs) and obtaining a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) for tax purposes.

  • Licenses and permits: Depending on your business type and location, you may need various licenses and permits to operate legally. These include business operation licenses, professional licenses, and health and safety permits.

  • Zoning laws: Ensure your business complies with local zoning laws, which dictate where certain businesses can operate. This is especially important for home-based businesses or those requiring specific facilities.

  • Understanding regulations: Stay informed about the regulations affecting your industry, including labor laws, environmental regulations, and health and safety standards. Non-compliance can result in penalties or legal issues down the line.

  • Protecting intellectual property: Your business’s unique ideas, products, or brands may be eligible for intellectual property protection through patents, trademarks, and copyrights. It is important to protect your intellectual property from infringement by competitors or other parties.

Operational excellence

Achieving operational excellence is crucial for the success of any business. It involves setting up efficient systems and processes that ensure the smooth running of your operations, leading to satisfied customers and a healthy bottom line. 

Here are some key operational considerations to consider when launching your business.

Key operational considerations

Incorporating key operational considerations from the outset is essential to ensure longevity and efficiency in your business.

  • Inventory management: Effective inventory management ensures you have the right products in the right quantity at the right time. It prevents stockouts, minimizes excess inventory, and optimizes warehouse space. Implementing an inventory management system can help track stock levels, manage orders, and forecast demand.

  • Customer service: High-quality customer service is essential for retaining customers and building brand loyalty. This includes responsive communication channels, clear return policies, and efficient problem-resolution processes. Investing in customer relationship management (CRM) software can help personalize customer interactions and improve satisfaction.

  • Marketing: A strong marketing strategy is crucial for attracting and retaining customers. This involves identifying your target market, crafting compelling messages, and choosing the right channels to reach your audience. Digital marketing tools can help automate tasks, track performance, and analyze customer behavior.

  • Supply chain management: Efficient supply chain management involves coordinating the flow of goods and services from suppliers to customers. This includes managing procurement, production, and distribution processes. Implementing supply chain software can help optimize logistics and reduce costs.

  • Financial management: Proper financial management is essential for a business to be financially stable. This involves tracking expenses, managing cash flow, and monitoring profitability. An accounting business service or software can help streamline financial processes and provide accurate reporting.

  • Employee management: Your employees are the backbone of your business, so it's important to manage them effectively. This includes clear communication, fair compensation, and opportunities for growth and development. Human resource management (HRM) software can help with recruiting, onboarding, and performance evaluations.

  • Data analysis: In today's digital age, data is a valuable business asset. Collecting and analyzing data can provide insights into customer behavior, market trends, and operational efficiency. Data analytics tools can help businesses make informed decisions and improve overall performance.

  • Continuous improvement: As markets and industries evolve, businesses must adapt and improve continuously. This involves regularly evaluating processes, identifying areas for improvement, and implementing changes. Project management software can help with planning and executing improvement initiatives.

  • Customer relationship management: Maintaining strong customer relationships is crucial for business success. This involves understanding customer needs and preferences, providing exceptional service, and building loyalty. Customer relationship management (CRM) software can help businesses manage customer interactions and improve overall satisfaction.

businesspeople discussing the cashflow reports

Financial management system

A financial management system is pivotal for any business aiming to ensure sustainable growth and effective management of resources.

  • Tracking expenses: Keeping meticulous records of all business expenses is essential for understanding your financial health and preparing for tax season. Accounting software can simplify this process by categorizing expenses, generating reports, and even integrating with bank accounts for real-time tracking.

  • Monitoring cash flow: Cash flow is the lifeblood of your business, representing the net amount of cash being transferred into and out of your business. Monitoring cash flow helps ensure that you have enough cash on hand to cover operational costs and invest in growth opportunities. Regularly review cash flow statements to identify trends and anticipate future needs.

  • Ensuring financial stability: A solid financial management system enables you to make informed decisions, plan for the future, and manage financial risks. This includes setting budgets, forecasting revenue, and analyzing financial ratios. Establishing an emergency fund and securing access to credit can provide additional security against unexpected financial challenges.

  • Complying with regulations: As a business owner, you are responsible for complying with various financial regulations and laws. These may include tax laws, labor laws, and industry-specific regulations. Ensure that you are aware of the relevant requirements and have processes in place to meet them.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

To provide further guidance and clarification, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions about what to do after crafting a business plan.

What are the first steps after finishing a business plan?

After completing your business plan, prioritize securing funding through means such as loans or investors, selecting and registering the appropriate business structure (e.g., LLC, corporation), officially registering your business with relevant authorities, and beginning the process of assembling a skilled team to bring your vision to life.

How do I choose the right business structure?

Evaluate factors such as the level of personal liability you're willing to accept, the tax implications of each structure, and your plans for raising capital. This analysis will help you decide whether a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation best fits your business needs and goals.

What's the best way to secure funding for my startup?

Explore various funding sources to determine which aligns with your business model and growth objectives. Options include bootstrapping with personal savings, applying for business loans, seeking out angel investors or venture capitalists, and launching crowdfunding campaigns to raise capital from a broader audience.

How can I protect my business idea?

Protecting your business idea involves securing intellectual property rights through patents (for inventions), trademarks (for brand identity elements like logos and slogans), and copyrights (for original works such as writings and designs). Additionally, non-disclosure agreements should be considered for discussions with potential partners or employees.

What is the importance of having an online presence?

An online presence is vital for reaching and engaging with a wider audience, establishing your brand's credibility, and providing an accessible platform for e-commerce. Websites, social media profiles, and online marketing strategies are key components of a modern business's outreach efforts.

How do I set up efficient operational systems?

Implement tailored processes and technology solutions for key operations such as inventory management, customer service, and financial tracking. Efficient systems streamline operations, reduce errors, and improve customer satisfaction and profitability.

What strategies can help in effective customer acquisition?

Develop a multi-channel strategy that combines content marketing, search engine optimization, social media engagement, and targeted email campaigns. Tailor your messaging to resonate with your target audience and focus on building relationships to convert prospects into loyal customers.

Why is cash flow management crucial for a new business?

Effective cash flow management ensures that your business has the liquidity to cover day-to-day operations and unexpected expenses. Monitoring cash inflows and outflows helps prevent financial shortfalls and supports strategic investment decisions for growth.

Wrapping up

So, what must an entrepreneur do after creating a business plan? Entrepreneurs must carefully navigate several critical steps, from a detailed business plan to a successful business launch. 

Securing the right funding, building a dream team with complementary skills, laying solid legal foundations, and achieving operational excellence are pivotal to turning entrepreneurial visions into reality. Each of these steps involves strategic planning, attention to detail, and a dynamic approach to problem-solving. 

The road to launching and growing a business is filled with challenges, but it's also replete with opportunities to learn, innovate, and succeed. Remember, every great achievement begins with the decision to try. Take action, be prepared to adapt, and trust your ability to overcome obstacles.

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