It is essentially the working plan, but with an emphasis on sleek, marketable presentation, and proper business language and terminology. Whereas the working plan is made for reference by the owner, the presentation needs to be written with investors, bankers, and the public in mind. Understand the basic structure of the business plan. Whether you opt for a miniplan, or a comprehensive working plan to start, it is essential to understand the basic elements of a business plan.
The business concept is the first broad element of a business plan. The focus here is on the description of your business, its market, its products, and its organizational structure and management. The market analysis is the second major element of a business plan.
Your business will operate within a particular marketplace, and it is important to understand customer demographics, preferences, needs, buying behavior, as well as the competition. The financial analysis is the third component of the business plan. If your business is new, this will include projected cash flows, capital expenditures, and the balance sheet. It will also include forecasts as to when the business will break-even.
If you lack business or financial education, it is never a bad idea to enlist the help of an accountant to assist with the financial analysis portion of the plan.
The above sections are the broad components of the business plan. These sections in turn break down into the following seven sections, which we will, in order, focus on writing next: Company description, market analysis, organization structure and management, products and services, marketing and sales, and request for funding.
Format your document correctly. Format section titles in Roman Numeral order. Write your company description as the first section. To do this, describe your business and identify the marketplace needs for your product or service. Briefly describe your key customers and how you intend to succeed. Write your market analysis. The purpose of this section is explore and demonstrate knowledge of the market your business is operating within.
You should be able to answer questions like, who is your target market? What are their needs and preferences? How old are they, and where are they located? Make sure to include a competitive analysis that provides research and information on immediate competitors.
List your main competitors strengths and weaknesses and the potential impact on your business. This section of the business plan focuses on key personnel. Include details about the business owners and its management team. If the owners and managers and have extensive backgrounds in the industry or a track record of success, highlight it. If you have an organizational chart, include it. Describe your product or service.
What are you selling? How will customers benefit? How is it better than your competitors products or services? Do you currently have or anticipate developing a prototype, or filing for a patent or copyright?
Note all planned activities. For example, if you are writing a plan for a coffee shop, you would include a detailed menu that would outline all your products.
Before writing the menu, you would include a short summary indicating why your particular menu sets your business apart from others. Our wide variety will be a key competitive advantage as we can provide a diversity of product offerings that our main competitors are currently not offering". Write your marketing and sales strategy. In this section, explain how you intend to penetrate the market, manage growth, communicate with customers, and distribute your products or services. Will you use sales representatives, billboard advertising, pamphlet distribution, social media marketing, or all of the above?
Make a funding request. If you will use your business plan to secure funding, include a funding request. Explain how much money you need to start and maintain your small business. Provide an itemized summary of how start-up capital will be used.
Give a timeline for your funding request. To accurately complete this step, in some cases it might be necessary to hire an accountant, lawyer, or other professional. For one full year, provide monthly and quarterly statements. Each year after that, yearly statements. These documents will be placed in the Appendix Section of your business plan. Include projected cash flows for at least 6 years or until stable growth rates are achieved and if possible, a valuation calculation based on discounted cash flows.
Write the executive summary. Your executive summary will serve as an introduction to your business plan. Remember to place this section at the beginning of your document. When was the business first conceptualized? What are some notable growth benchmarks?
Start-ups will focus more on industry analysis and their funding goal. Existing businesses and start-ups should highlight any major achievements, contracts, current or potential clients and summarize future plans. Potential investors might want to see this information before making a decision. The documents you include here should support claims made in other sections of the business plan.
There should a section clearly outlining the risk factors affecting your venture and your mitigation plans. This also indicates to the reader how well prepared you are for contingencies. Review your business plan for spelling and grammatical errors. Do this several times before deciding on the final version. Rework or completely rewrite content to ensure it works from the perspective of the reader.
This is especially true if you are creating a "presentation plan". Read your document aloud. This allows you to detect if any sentences do not flow together well, and it also makes any grammatical mistakes more obvious. Make a copy and give it to a trusted friend or colleague to proofread and provide feedback. Create a cover page. The cover page identifies your document and gives it aesthetic appeal and professionalism. It also helps your document to stand out.
Your cover page should include: The words "Business Plan" centered in large bold font, along with your company name, company logo, and contact information. It should be less about the nitty-gritty details of operations and more about your grand vision for the company and where it is headed.
Gather all the information together and prepare multiple drafts. At first, do not worry about capitalization, punctuation, and grammar. All you need to worry about is putting your ideas down on paper. Once you have a general form, you can spend time proofreading your plan and correcting mistakes. Have someone else read over it for you and take heed of their comments.
Sell yourself and your business. The idea of the business plan is to present yourself in the best light. The talents, experience and enthusiasm you bring to your enterprise are unique. They provide some of the most compelling reasons for others to finance your concept. Keep in mind that investors invest in people more than ideas. Even if your potential business has many competitors or is not on the cutting edge of an industry, the qualifications and commitment you demonstrate in your plan can convince others to proffer their support.
Focus on group experiences, leadership opportunities, and successes at all levels. Present and explain your financial data. How will you convince others to invest in your endeavor? The accuracy of your financial figures and projections is absolutely critical in convincing investors, loan sources, and partners that your business concept is worthy of support. The data must also be scrupulously honest and extremely clear.
Since banks and many other funding sources will compare your projections to industry averages in the R. A data, in the United States you can use the R. A figures to test your projections before the bank does.
Sample Small Business Business Plan. Specify the product, source of it, and people in need of the product. List capital, handy or loan. List whether you have sales reps, your availability for outreach on demand, and your source of mobility. Not Helpful 4 Helpful Is it important to write a business plan for a small business even if financial support is not really needed?
You can also review it once a year to see how much you and your business needs have changed. Not Helpful 17 Helpful Discuss how you will secure financing, showing details on sales projections, costs, etc. Not Helpful 18 Helpful The same way you would write it for anything else. Just follow the steps in the article.
A little different or not. Answer this question Flag as How do I write a business plan about a company which deals in technology? If I want to go into business selling tap water, what would be a good way to approach the business plan? How can I write business plan for avocado supply?
Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. Quick Summary To write a business plan, start with an executive summary that lays out your grand vision for your business.
Did this summary help you? Tips Many sources exist for finding information for your business plan. Your local library and the internet are always helpful sources.
The professor may be able to give helpful insight. There are a few valuable online archives of business plans that feature companies which have successfully penetrated the market based on a well defined and executed business and marketing plan. Be certain about what gives your business the competitive edge. Make sure you cite your information. This way you will have support for any statistics you put into your business plan.
Warnings Do not submit your draft business plan to potential investors! However, it is advisable to give the executive summary instead of the whole plan after it is completed. Sometimes, busy investors may not have the time to look at an entire plan, which can sometimes be up to 50 pages. Article Info Featured Article Categories: Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 1,, times.
Very nice and practical solution and a way to write a business plan. It is the best option for the inception, and like it said, plan has to change with time. Khurshid Ahmed May 1, Thanks for making it available. GC Gloria Chepkoech Aug NR Norma Reneau May I truly appreciated the subconscious continual layout of organization how the needed steps appeared to flow smoothly in appropriate sequence to follow with final proofreading for corrections.
TM Tumi Molekwa Mar SC Siyanda Cedric Jul 31, That is why most of the businesses are collapsing. NA Nnabuk Akpan Feb 3. For instance, understanding that investors follow a specific guidelines, such as the Risk Management Association R. WH Wai lwin Htun Sep 11, It notified me the way to reach or to be reached by customers and to present the products or service. This is so important for the existence of a business.
CB Casandra Bastian Feb 26, Not only did it tell me step by step what I need for a business plan, but also gave multiple examples that ensured I was giving all the possible information needed. Zulfi Robbani Oct 26, The steps are easy to follow. The advice and tips make sense. Really helping for complicated tasks when creating a business plan. JJ Joseph Jolly Jun 7, It would be better though if a more detailed structure would be made available.
TZ Thet Zaw Jan After reading on your page, I got an idea that what should I do. So this is really help full for me.
SM Salwa Mueen Nov 2, It helped me to become more focused and explicit in my planning. PD Parshu Dahal Apr 11, This article worked as a really important guide to start with. I am working according to steps mentioned here. RK Rose Khumalo Jun 4, AA Ariel Abenis Jul 25, Gave me a brilliant idea how to start up my future business plan. Gave me clear strategy to make my business a success. CM Cathy Morse May 28, DM Dorcus Mashile Jul 7, I found what I have been searching for and wanting to know.
Thank you so much. SS Sarweshwaran Srikanth Oct 31, I found this article very helpful.
A business plan is a written description of your business's future, a document that tells what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. If you jot down a .
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Jul 11, · How to Write a Business Plan for a Small Business. A business plan refers to a written document that comprehensively outlines what your business is, where it is going, and how it will get there. (NDA) for them to sign to help protect your business idea. 3. Create a cover page. The cover page identifies your document and 89%(). Helpful apps that guide you from brilliant business idea to an actionable plan. that can help get your business plan rolling: through every step of creating a traditional business plan.