Not many small business owners know how to write a business plan properly, nor do they want to spend time writing it.
Some resort to using business plan templates available on the Internet, but not all of them are suitable for all companies or types of business.
We’ll tell you a business plan, why it’s useful, and how to write your own.
The advantages and disadvantages of using a business plan-specific format or planning tool will also be discussed.
So sit back in your chair and let’s get started – it’s time to prepare your resume.
What should your business plan include?
Any entrepreneur can benefit from a well-written and structured business plan.
Because a well-written business plan gives any startup a strategic focus and a clear structure.
A simple business plan should include at least the following:
- Summary and policy statement. Brief description of your entire business plan.
- Overview of business and industry. Any information that describes your company, business, business idea, and the industry in which you operate.
- Product and service description. Detailed information about your products and services, including the development process, product features and benefits.
- Analysis of marketing research. Research demonstrates your competitive edge and how you differ from other players in your field.
- Sales and marketing strategies. How will you work to attract new customers and keep existing ones coming back?
- Execution plan. Checkpoints that indicate your progress, such as a $1,000 turnover.
- Financial plan. Any data that shows your financial projections and funding options (such as a bank loan or investment capital), such as your budget, cash flow statements, balance sheet, and sales forecast.
- Addition. More information about your business plan.
Creating a business plan template is easy if you know what to include and how best to do it.
Step 1: Summary
This first section provides the reader with a snapshot of your grand plan.
A simple summary summarizes the main aspects of your company as a whole.
This section should be concise, engaging, and comprehensive—think of it as a presentation of your company.
You must include at least the following on your resume:
- Brief description of your company
- An overview of the goods or services you offer
- Summary of your market analysis and marketing strategies
- Your financial plan
- Your company’s mission statement, the answer to the problem your business is trying to solve
Although this section comes first in most business plan formats, it is recommended that you work with it last.
This is because your summary is an overview of your entire business plan: it helps the reader decide whether or not to read the rest of the business plan.
So you want everything to be well written, right?
Step 2: Business and Industry Overview
A description of your business and your industry will be the next item on your business plan.
Start with a description of your company, including your business structure, general şişli escort organizational structure, and company history.
Name the key members of your management team and their qualifications and potential shareholders.
Then describe in detail what your field of activity is:
- Discuss what your company does
- Please indicate which industry you are in
- Who is the target audience, and in what part of the world do you do business?
- And explain how your company as a whole operates in the market.
If necessary, list any accomplishments that apply to you.
It is important to describe how you view your company in relation to its industry, community, or industry.
Be sure to identify the company’s current goals in this business plan section.
Make sure each is measurable and attainable and has a deadline.
But don’t overdo it: keep it short. You will go into more detail about achieving your goals in step six.
Step 3: Description of the product and service
In this section, describe the products and/or services offered by your company.
Start by illustrating how the product or service was developed from early stages to final form.
Describe how it’s done, how quality is maintained, how much it costs to produce, etc. Use visual aids to help readers.
Describe how the product or service operates and its lifespan.
Showcase their functionalities and describe their customer benefits in detail. Indicate what aspects you hope to improve in the future.
If you’ve already sold multiple units, include key customer reviews and potential sales figures.
Step 4: Target market and market analysis
This business plan section should explain your competitive advantage over other companies.
A good business plan is done by explaining your understanding of the target audience and competitors.
Start by defining your ideal target audience.
Include their age, gender, occupation, and other demographics. Explain why they might be interested in buying your products or services.
For competitors, list companies in the same industry and market. Research their audience and the reasons why people choose them.
Research your competitor’s product or service, reviews, customer service, and other important aspects. Then, compare your competitors and your company side-by-side to highlight the differences.
Describe what competitors do not offer the market, but you can. Then, identify the opportunities and strengths you have against them. This will be your competitive advantage.
For this section, using a lot of visual data from your research is better.
Ultimately, you would like to write your business plan in such a way that is simple to comprehend, especially for a potential investor group.
Step 5: Sales and Marketing Strategies
In this section, explain how you will attract and retain customers.
Discuss your sales strategy and marketing plan. Discuss your pricing, branding, advertising, and other marketing items, such as packaging and distribution costs.
When developing your marketing plan, remember to think about your ideal customer.
Incorporate digital marketing strategies. You can outline how you plan to increase your site’s SEO, search engine, and social media advertising.
Try to visualize the customer experience. For example, show how buyers can find your business and how they will be prompted to purchase.
For more information you should visit business plan consultants.
Step 6: Execution Plan
An execution plan is a list of milestones you plan to go through in achieving your company’s goals (the ones you set in step 2).
Suppose you want to grow your clothing business.
To do this, you plan to add new products. Your benchmarks might include:
- Completing new designs.
- Testing prototypes.
- Building final versions of your products.
- Selling X number of your new products to buying customers.
For startup entrepreneurs and small businesses, milestones can be company-building tasks—such as working through legal paperwork, figuring out how much money you need, renting office space, or hiring employees.
How many steps you need will depend on your goals. First, consider the resources needed to complete each activity, such as equipment, facilities, and team members.
Do not forget to explain your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats while meeting your goals.
Step 7: Financial plan
Regardless of your business plan template, business plan writers almost always includes a section on your finances.
Your financial plan discusses all the financial aspects of your business.
It includes the budget, business expenses, and total sales, which will help demonstrate financial forecasts.
In general, the plan should demonstrate the growth and profitability of your company.
If you are a beginner entrepreneur, use budget calculations, product or service prices, and market research to create financial projections.
Existing businesses can utilize historical data to create projections for the next three or five years.
As a rule, you need to include:
- Income reports. Most investors want to look at your earnings, annual profits, and expenses.
- Cash flow statements. It’s a trendy way to indicate how much money or cash equivalents are coming in and out of your business.
- Balance sheets. We are talking about reports on the amount of money and assets that your company owns and owes to others.
- Break-even analysis. A calculation showing at what stage your company will start to make a profit and when it will work at a loss.
Enter a funding request if you would like to show your plan to investors or lenders. Include the total amount of funding, the purpose of the loan, and the terms of the loan.
If you are requesting capital, please indicate what percentage the investors will own. If you want a loan, explain how you will repay them.
Be specific and realistic in your financial plan. Try not to overestimate your predictions.
Step 8: Complement
You are almost done writing your business plan – keep it up.
The appendix or last section of your business plan contains additional information that readers may need to understand your business.’
Include any additional data from the previous sections in this part of your business plan: Consider including detailed statistics from your market research or images of your marketing materials, such as different versions of your logo.
An add-on is also a place where you can add copies of important business-related documents, such as legal documents. Add some information about the business owners, such as resumes and credit histories.
This way, your business plan will leave nothing to chance and help you secure funding.
Why is it necessary to have a business plan?
A business plan is a blueprint that serves as an executable road map for launching a new business or expanding an existing one.
It allows you to identify the potential strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that your company will face in your industry.
This way, your business will be prepared to face potential obstacles and know what to expect from the market.
You may not think so, but new and existing business owners can benefit from writing a business plan.
Usually, any startup dreams of meeting with a potential investor.
For a current company, a business plan is an invaluable strategic tool. It enables the management team to keep an eye on the big picture and steer the company toward its original objectives.
Business planning with business plan template
If you don’t know how to write a business plan, there’s no shame in using free business plan templates.
More often than not, a simple Google search is a great place to start.
There are also high price business plan writing applications, such as MB Plans.
Paid software typically offers more customizability and assets to help you create an impressive business plan.
Different types of business plans
Depending on your company’s size, industry, and current status, writing a business plan may differ from your fellow entrepreneur.
Standard business plan
This business plan gives the reader a complete picture of the company.
A standard business plan is usually intended for external use. It covers everything from a detailed description of the company to a breakdown of its products and services, strategies, goals and finances.
Internal or short business plan
These types of business plans are generally for internal use only.
They are more concise and centered on sales and marketing strategies. Deadlines for important tasks and the company’s overall direction.
Usually, a short business plan reveals the main points of the business rather than an in-depth analysis of the company.
Startup business plan
If you want to start your own business, you should: you probably won’t have a lot of data to base your financial projections on.
A startup business plan follows the format of a standard business plan.
It usually includes more information about the founders, a detailed analysis of the market and industry, and a comprehensive breakdown of finances – something that most investors are interested in.
One-page business plan
This simple business plan is designed to take stock of your business.
A one-page plan, also called a business presentation, is usually for external use.
Many businesses have a one-page business plan for the preliminary stages of a conversation with a new business partner or investor. A summary of who you are and your actions is usually helpful at this negotiation stage.
Operational business plan
Most businesses create a business plan a year ahead.
These annual plans are usually intended for internal use but may also interest external stakeholders.
Include this plan’s operational details, including project timelines, sales targets, and team responsibilities.
Strategic business plan
A strategic business plan aims to look at where your startup or business is heading and how you will get where you want to go.
Strategic business plans are usually just for insiders and take into account the vision, mission of your company, and the various milestones your business plans need to reach.
Most small businesses benefit from including SWOT analysis in their strategic plans.
Utilization of a Business Plan Template: Pros and Cons
- Great for aspiring entrepreneurs. The business plan template is especially helpful for beginners. If you don’t know how to write a business plan, there’s no shame in using all the help you can get.
- Saves you time. Just follow the instructions, and the plan will be ready in no time. You don’t need to customize the format, as the template already contains instructions for formatting your ideas.
- Correctly formatted. You do not need to worry that you’ll forget to include vital information because most business plan frameworks already contain the required sections and elements.
- Designed with the intended audience in mind. Real business plan frameworks are typically created with lenders and investors in mind. This means you don’t have to worry about whether your plan meets their standards or not.
- You must understand what a business plan is. A business plan framework does not necessarily simplify the process.
- You still need to figure out how you should complete this template.
- You still need to put in the effort. You will have to do all the balance sheet calculations yourself, and no one else will write your mission statement. If you are not experienced in writing a business plan or allocating a budget, you may want to hire someone to help.
- Most business plan templates are universal. In reality, each business has unique requirements, which will be reflected in the business planning procedure. You will likely need to modify the template to suit your business requirements.
- Unnecessary sections of the business plan. Some templates may not contain sections suitable for certain businesses. You’d better design your template that suits your business resources.
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