A well written business plan can make or break your business. With a good business plan, you will be able to attract investors, know what to expect from your industry, and be aware of the strategies and performance of your competitors.
Every business plan has different sections, each of which have their own purpose as follows:
- Executive summary – Places at the beginning of the plan, this is where you provide an overview of what your business is about.
- Company description – Here you provide details on your business, your mission and vision, as well as your unique selling proposition (USP).
- Market analysis – This is where you present the bulk of your market research. This section has details on everything you know about your industry, your competition, and your forecast for growth.
- Internal management – This section showcases the talents of your employees and their skills and capabilities.
- Product – In this section you explain your product and what sets it apart from similar products in the market.
- Market execution – This is where you provide details on your marketing strategy, particularly the promotional methods you will use to attract new customers.
- Financial requirements – Here you detail the money you require from investors, why you require such a sum, as well as how those finances will be put to use towards the growth of your business.
While these are what actually goes into your business plan, there are some things you should keep in mind to ensure that your business plan really shines.
Use a Business Plan Template
A good business plan template will guide you through creating your plan in a time efficient manner. If you’re a non profit organization, be sure to use a nonprofit business plan template. Also, you might be able to find templates specific to other industries in which you operate. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel; using a template can save you precious time.
In a world that is increasingly becoming more and more data driven, market research becomes extremely important in understanding what sets your business apart from others and how you can beat leverage your unique selling proposition to garner sustainable long-term success.
This is why the single most important thing you have to do before you can start writing your business plan is conducting your market research. This should also be done multiple times a year so you can always stay updated on the latest trends and developments within your industry. The more information you have on how you can grow, the more effectively you can use that information to actually grow.
Purpose of the Plan
Knowing why you are writing your business plan is crucial towards framing the plan in a way where it gets you the results you need. If the main purpose behind your business plan is to attract investors, then you should frame the plan in such a way where you can better secure funds from investors. If your business plan is primarily designed to grow via internal funding, it should be a strategic plan that focuses on the strategies you will employ to grow.
Be Flexible With the Plan
If you want to write a successful business plan, then you should know that you will constantly have to keep updating it as trends change and the industry grows. Do not expect writing your business plan to be a one time affair, as you will have to keep changing it multiple times as your business expands.
Develop Marketing Objectives
It is not enough to just have a good marketing strategy, you should ideally also set milestones that can help you reach success. These milestones will also help you make forecasts towards expanding and growing your business.
Businesses that make use of good business plans are always more likely to achieve long term sustainable success in the market. If you haven’t already done so, create your plan today.