Business Plan - Information & Sources

You are certain to have questions as your business planning gets underway. For example, You may want to find out about trends in your Industry or Marketplace or Obtain information on your customers or competitors.

Maybe you need more information before you develop your marketing plan or need help with your finances. Luckily, you have plenty of places to turn to for help!

Here is a list of the places you can check out for more information:

  • The Internet

You can dig up information on market, customers, competition - you name it. When using search engines, enter your best guess term for what you want to find, and you will be amazed at the results. You can also visit industry websites for goldmines of information; and by all means, go to the sides of your leading competitors to read company overviews, news releases, and all kinds of other information.

  • Your local college or university library

The periodical section of your library has business journals and other useful Publications, and the reference shelves contain books on market demographics, industry trends, and other factual resources.

  • A nearby Business School

Many schools offer seminars, webinars, online or evening classes open to the public, and professors are usually happy to answer your questions.

  •  Industry trade journals

Yes, the subscriptions are sometimes expensive, but they are often worth the investment.

  •  Newspapers

No matter what your business, the Wall Street Journal, Economic Times, or local papers keep you on top of issues you should follow.

  • Trade shows and industries symposiums

This gathering can usually great places to get news about products, services, customers, and your competitors - All under one roof!

  • Ministry of micro small and medium enterprises

These sites are rich source for just about everything you want to know about starting and running a small business.

  •  Search and Research companies

Using these resources comes with the price but sometimes a market research study is the only place to find must have data.

  •  Professional groups

Almost every profession has a personal group from writers to accountants to scientists. Find the group that serves your business Arena and check out the website and membership requirements.

  • Local business networking groups

These groups comprise of members with experience, insights, and even business reference to share.

  •  Your local Chamber of Commerce

This organisation is a good vehicle for networking and staying abreast of local and state issues and can serve as a resource for all sorts of Business and regional information.

Seeking expert advice

When you cannot find the answers to specific questions, ask for advice.

If you are thinking of starting a retail business for instance, ask other retailers to fill you in on what you need to know. if you want to break away from the corporate grind and go into business for yourself, schedule a lunch with someone who has made a similar move to discover what it takes. you are sure to get an earful of useful first-hand advice to implement in your business planning.

As you interview industry contacts for people with experience in similar businesses, follow these steps:

  • Prepare your questions in advance -  with a little advance planning,You will not forget to discuss something really important.

  • Explain exactly why you are asking for help -  you cannot expect people to be open with you if you are not honest with them.

  • Be prepared to listen - even if you hear something you do not want to know, listen anyway. anybody who wants you about potential obstacles is doing you a big favour.

  • Keep the conversation open ended - always ask whether you should be thinking about other issues or addressing other topics.

  • Build your network of contacts -  ask for introductions to others who may be helpful for for suggestions for sources of useful information.

Last, but not the least, Be grateful.

Pick up the lunch or dinner tab. write a quick thank you note.

Remember - you may need to turn to the same People later for additional advice or help.

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