How To Write A Business Plan
The goal of every start-up experiment is to discover how to build a sustainable business around the vision.
A business plan is a written document that describes a business, its strategies, objectives, market segment and its financial forecasts. Often described as a roadmap to success, it demonstrates the viability of a business, measuring success, identifying weaknesses and secure funding from angle investors, banks and government bodies. It should be continuously updated as the business evolves. Essentially, a business plan should comprise of;
Executive Summary: The executive summary of a business plan should portray the reasons behind the operation of the business. This is an overview of the business and plans.
Business Description: This should describe the people – promoters, shareholders, financial or legal advisers and a breakdown of the management structure. Product – meticulously explicate your product / services, its provision to the consumer, background to its development, the unique selling point, benefits, features and future developments.
At this point, you need to determine what kind of business you are operating, have it registered and get a license. This is concerned with the kind of legal structure you choose for your company. This decision would affect your taxes, the degree of paperwork your business is required to do, the personal liability you face and your ability to raise funds.
Objective – This should describe your business in the next five years stating the specific mile stones to be achieved in your business and include sales forecasts, employment and product development. SWOT Analysis – Is an extremely useful technique for identifying and analysing the internal and external factors that can have an impact on a product / service. This technique assists you with analysing the strengths and weaknesses of your product / service, existing opportunities and the threats to the viability of the product / service.
Market Analysis: this should be an explication of what you are selling and how it is solving a need in your market space. Target Market – explains who you are selling your product and services to. Market Trends – is the market growing or declining? You will need to show recent changes in the market, future predictions and your plans to meet future demands. Profile of Competitors – discover the competing products / service, their turn over, profits and market share. Competitive Advantage – This reveals the reasons why your product / services would be chosen over your competitors.
Market and Sales Strategy: explicate how you intend to convert your opportunity into a business. This section covers the marketing and sales plan, operations and ways of measuring success. Strategies for reaching your target market and developing their interest in your product / service. Also, a sales strategy to demonstrate selling methods to target audience. Headings should include; marketing strategy which should answer questions such as, who will do the marketing? What strategies would be utilized to differentiate it from its competitors? Sales Strategy should describe how your products / service would be sold to your target market including the channels of distribution. Communication Strategy – describe methods to promote your product / service in the market place. Detail your advertising plans, both online and offline as well as exhibitions or conferences you intend to promote.
Staffing and Operations: Investors lookout for great teams in addition to great ideas. Use this segment to describe your current team and who you need to hire, providing a quick overview of your legal structure, location and history if the business is on flight already. Training plans for your staff. Headings include; Management Organisation, Staffing and training plans.
Funding Requirements: Clearly state the total funding requirements of the business, describing how you intend to get funding, including a detailed break – down of how these funds will be spent and expected cash flow.
Appendix: This should contain the relevant documents to support the information given within the main text of the plan. Financial assumptions, receipts, testimonials, terms sheet for potential investors, details of company and website. For more information on writing a business plan or for a consultation with a Start-up Specialist, please do not hesitate to contact Desire Kings +2348096553292 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Having a business plan would in many ways help you measure your business success, because it leads to questioning of the past and future assumptions. It serves as a reference point when determining the effects of alternative courses of action on business operations. It forces you to think realistically, unemotionally and objectively about your business communicating your growth plan and associated capital requirements to partners, sponsors or employees. People don’t bump into success, they consciously plan their voyage and walk into success. Succeeding without a plan is more impossible than possible. There are existing businesses without a business plan but they sure would succeed beyond their current status with a proper business plan. You may need an expert or a Start-up specialist to guide you through. In addition, a business plan requires maximum research especially on your kind of product / services, market analysis and so on. You should form an adaptive habit of voracious studying, researching and communicating.