The business plan is the start-up’s invitation to participate in the funding process. Without a pre-arranged plan, many investment groups will decline to do a meeting. And the plan must be exceptional if it is to attract investor capital.
A detailed, well-thought-out business plan is critical to entrepreneurs and corporate executives’ success. Whether you’re beginning a new business, seeking extra cash for existing product lines, or proposing a new operation inside a corporate department, you’ll never encounter a more difficult but essential writing task than preparing a business plan.
A business plan’s contents include the following:
Executive summary: A concise overview of your business plan’s major points. Consider this your ‘elevator speech’ — imagine yourself in an elevator with someone you’d like to persuade to make an investment in your business, and you will have only until the elevator reaches their floor to persuade them. You should be precise and summarise your business (or business concept) in no more than three or four brief paragraphs. Even though it is the first item on the list, it should be written last.
Overview of the company: Determine your industry, the product or service you’re selling, and the price you’ll charge. Include thorough information about your business in your company description. Extensively describe the difficulties that your business resolves. Make a list of the people, groups, or enterprises that your business intends to service.
Describe the comparative edge that will ensure the success of your business. Is your staff made of experts? Have you chosen the ideal site for your business? Your company description is the perfect setting to showcase your strengths.
Commodities or services: Provide a description of the customer issue you’re tackling. Begin the goods & services section by discussing the issue you are resolving for your clients and the solution you are providing. This section contains a description of your product or service.
Market analysis: Define your target audience and its competitors. Almost every industry has several players. Even if your business holds the bulk of the customer base in your sector or your business concept is the first of its type, you still have competitors. In the competitor analysis section, you’ll examine the industry landscape objectively in order to identify where your business fits. A SWOT analysis is a method for structuring this part.
Plan for marketing and sales: How are you going to attract clients and close sales? How many sales are anticipated? How will you inform people about you and your offerings – by advertising, target marketing, social media, or public relations initiatives, or a mix thereof? Can they purchase from you in a variety of ways: online, through wholesalers, or through your own retail location(s). Establish some sales objectives and develop a strategy for achieving them — for example, will you focus on new clients or on increasing sales to existing customers? Will your personnel need to be trained in new sales techniques? Establish a budget for implementing your sales strategy and be specific about how you will determine success.
Planning your finances: To entice the reader of the business plan, the company’s financial planning and future predictions should be included. For established businesses, financial statements, balance sheets, and other financial data may be included. Rather than that, new businesses will contain objectives and projections during the first few years of operation and any possible investors.
Reporting on progress and the team: How and when will you report on your progress towards meeting the benchmarks? Now that you’ve established some admirable objectives, the company opportunity is viable, and the industry is ready for your offerings. Who is accountable for translating all of this high-level talk into action? The “team” portion of your company plan addresses this topic by outlining the roles assigned to each objective. Do not be concerned if you do not yet have every team member on hand; understanding which responsibilities to fill will assist you in obtaining money from investors.
Budget: Calculate your expenses and revenue (and any debt that you plan to take on). Any successful business must have a budget in place. This covers staffing, development, production, and marketing expenditures, as well as any other business-related expenses.
A business plan is not intended to be permanent. As the business develops and changes, the business plan should adapt as well. A yearly assessment of the strategy enables the entrepreneur to make necessary adjustments in light of changing markets. Additionally, it gives time to reflect on what has been accomplished and what has not. Consider it a dynamic document that develops and changes in tandem with your business.