What’s the first thing you do when starting a business?

Recently I’ve been involved in a number of discussions where businesses have reached out for help in their early stages.  Once of the most common questions, is ‘what is the first thing you do when starting a business?’.

Common answers here include get finance, hire a good team, talk to prospective clients, set up partnerships.

The real answer to the question is write a business plan.  Cue moans, grans and complaints from aspiring entrepreneurs and the common complaint ‘it’s not the most entertaining part of running a business is it?’.

The things is that a good business plan is an immensely useful tool to raising finance, identifying products, defining routes to market and setting out a sensible view of the opportunities and benefits that will accrue from the business idea.

A business plan is like any plan, it will change as you start on your journey, but the basic plan will still be sufficient to drive the business forward as it sets out your idea and how your various partners can benefit.