What Must an Entrepreneur Do After Creating a Business Plan?

Completing a well-researched business plan is a significant achievement for any entrepreneur starting a new business. But a plan alone is not sufficient to go from concept to successful launch. There are several critical follow-up steps entrepreneurs must take to bring their vision to life.

Finalizing Your Legal Business Formation

Choose the right structure – While a sole proprietorship is simplest, incorporating as an LLC or S-Corp limits liability and has tax advantages. Consult lawyers and accountants for guidance. Also consider future funding and expansion plans when deciding.

Handle registrations – Officially register your business name and entity formation paperwork based on your structure. This may include Articles of Organization for an LLC.

Acquire licenses – Research if you need specific local or state licenses and permits. Common examples include general business licenses, food handling permits, and liquor licenses if applicable.

Review with advisors – Have attorneys review your legal documents and structure. Review tax compliance needs with an accountant. This ensures you have all your legal and tax bases covered.

Funding Your New Venture

Build an investment case – Refine your funding needs, financial projections, growth roadmap, and investor pitch based on your finished business plan.

Explore financing options – Weigh debt vs. equity financing. Consider SBA loans, angel investors, venture capital, crowdfunding, grants, business plan competitions, or self-funding via savings.

Many funding options exist, including:

  • Small business loans from banks or the SBA
  • Angel investor or venture capital networks
  • Crowdfunding through platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo
  • Grants from private foundations or government programs
  • Business plan competitions through universities and accelerators
  • Self-funding through personal savings and bootstrapping

Pitch effectively – Target the right investors. Pitch your business concept, competitive advantage, team, and growth potential. Clearly explain how funding will be used.

Manage investment wisely – Only take the funding you need. Be wary of diluting too much ownership if giving up equity. Invest funds into priorities like product development, marketing, and team.

Securing Your Business Location

Define needs – Determine must-have features like capacity, facilities, layout, utilities, parking, foot traffic, storage, etc.

Vet options thoroughly – Tour potential locations in person and speak with current tenants. Get professional inspections.

Negotiate favorable terms – Compare bids from multiple landlords or brokers. Negotiate on price, lease length, build-out terms, signage, exclusive use rights.

Build out space efficiently – Design and construct office layouts, retail displays, warehousing, etc. in a budget-friendly manner.

Developing Your Minimum Viable Product

Outline features – Decide on the core, must-have product features to include in your MVP based on customer needs.

Focus on functionality – Avoid getting bogged down on styling and looks early on. Focus on developing an MVP that works reliably.

Test and refine – Get your MVP into customers’ hands for feedback. Be ready to quickly iterate based on lessons learned.

Soft launch – Consider initially doing limited local release for your MVP before broader launch. This allows testing with less risk.

Hiring Key Team Members

Identify needs – Determine the roles and required skills that are highest priority to support your immediate business goals.

Sell your vision – Attract top candidates by pitching your company culture and vision. Offer ownership stakes if possible.

Check references – Vet shortlisted candidates thoroughly through reference checks, skill assessments, and professional background reviews.

Onboard smoothly – Train new hires on systems and processes. Have everything ready like payroll, computers, accounts, etc. on start date.

Following your business plan with strategic execution across these areas will help turn your entrepreneurial idea into a thriving, real-world venture. With diligent effort and commitment, your concept can become an impactful new company. What “after plan” steps are you taking?