So you’ve decided on your business, great! But, what do you really need to do before you proceed? If you’re going to open a business, you need a plan. Specifically, a business plan – a road map that will help you organize and keep your business in structure.
What Is a Business Plan
According to Investopedia, “A business plan is a written document that describes in detail how a business, usually a new one, is going to achieve its goals. A business plan lays out a written plan from a marketing, financial and operational viewpoint.”
How Do I Write A Business Plan?
Writing a business plan can be really daunting, you might even be tempted to just “wing” your business. However, in reality; it’s an essential tool (along with many others) that can serve as a motivation and provide a reference point to your business. So, sit tight and we’ll help you write an extensive business plan.
- Summary or Executive Summary
This is an overview of your business design as a whole, it should state your vision and your goals – either short term, or long term. Include all the necessary information such as business description, management, marketing, etc. (this will also serve as a pitch to investors or banks). Quick tip: Write your executive summary at the end, this will make it easier for you to summarize everything.
- Business Description
What is your business about? Describe the industry you’re in, the current perspective, as well as the future outlook. You also have to provide a brief description of the different markets within your industry – the developments, and how it could possibly affect your business.
- Market Analysis
Research your industry. Who are your target market? Is there an enough demand? By doing a market analysis, you’ll be able to analyze and at the same time, familiarize yourself with all the aspects of your business and your market.
- Competitive Analysis
Find out the strengths, and weaknesses of your competitors. After doing a competitive analysis, you’ll have an idea on how to set your business/product apart and improve your competitor’s disadvantages. Another quick tip: use the SWOT analysis.
- Organization and Management
List out all the positions in your company from top to bottom, describe their roles. If possible, create an organizational chart so they will have a background of your management team and visual representation of the people in the company.
- Service or Product
This is a description of your product or services. What are you selling? How will it benefit your customers? Better yet, what is your unique selling proposition? This should also include vital information like copyrights, trademarks and alike that you have.
- Marketing & Sales Plan
How do you plan to market your product? What is your sales strategy? Explain how you will market, or promote your business. Once again, it helps to do a research on the market and your competitors.
- Funding Request
Outline your current funding needs, then include your expected funding in the next years. This section may be optional if you’re planning to ask outside for your business funding, which is really probable. This covers the financial aspect of your business and how you plan to use or using the budget you acquire.
- Financial Projection
A financial projection is a record of your business’ past and projected income. Summarize each part in easily understandable sentences and since we’re dealing with numbers, you can also present visual graphs or charts. As part of the documentation, you’ll also need your balance sheets, cash flow statements, and income statements.
That’s about it, these are things you need in order to write a business plan. If the need arises, revise your business plan to keep it updated.