Creating a business plan will help you achieve your entrepreneurial goals. A clear and compelling business plan provides you with a guide for building a successful enterprise focused on achieving your personal and financial goals. It can also help persuade others, including banks, to invest in what you are creating. To write a business plan, start with an executive summary that lays out your grand vision for your business. Follow that with a section that describes what products and services your company will offer.
Then, write a marketing section where you detail how you're going to inform people about your business. You'll also want to include a section on your business model and how it will operate. Finally, conclude your business plan by letting investors know what you need from them.
Analyze the potential markets for your business. This needs to be more than mere guesswork and involves doing accurate and intelligent research. You need to analyze secondary research collected by outside observers, as well as getting primary research that you collect yourself, with your own methods and observations. Consider the following areas of inquiry: Is there a viable market for the product or service you want to sell?
How old are your potential customers? What do they do for a living? Is your product or service attractive to a particular ethnic or economic population? Will only wealthy people be able to afford it? Does your ideal customer live in a certain type of neighborhood or area? Establish the size of your potential market. It's important to be as specific as possible in regard to your market and your product. From there, you can analyze demographic information more specifically: How many car mechanics are in need of soap in any given community?
How many children in the United States are currently under the age of eight? How much soap will they use in a month or a year? How many other soap manufacturers already have a share of the market? How big are your potential competitors? What will you require to get started? Some may be tangible, such as five hundred file folders and a large cabinet in which to store them all. Other requirements may be intangible, such as time to create a product design or to do market research on potential customers.
What exactly will your mousetrap look like? What materials will you need? Do you require money for research and development to improve on your original toothpaste tube and paper clip construction? Do you need to hire an engineer to draw up accurate manufacturing designs?
Should you patent your invention? Will you need to investigate federal safety standards for mousetraps? Research possible locations for your business. Make a chart of the most expensive and least expensive sites by location and square footage. Determine your start-up cost. Make a list of all the tangible and intangible resources you need to get your business going.
Be honest and conservative in your estimates, but also be optimistic. Don't aim for the best of everything at the beginning. You can forgo the expensive trimmings of an office of a more well-established company and stick to the basics at the beginning. Get what is affordable, works and is actually needed and don't buy frills.
Put yourself in the shoes of potential investors. Depending on your product, you may need to search long and hard for relevant information. Don't lose heart if you discover some, or even all, of your ideas have been adequately covered by the market.
Don't ignore this reality; instead, work with it. Can you still do a better job or provide a better widget than your competitors? In many cases, it's likely that you can provided you know the market well and how to add value in ways your competitors are not doing. In other cases, it may be a case of focusing more narrowly or more broadly than your competitors are doing. They follow specific guidelines, such as the Risk Management Association R. A database, which are designed to ensure that they will make money by investing in or lending to your business.
Lenders will typically look to the company's Capital, Capacity, Collateral, Conditions, and Character or what is known as the 5C's of lending when underwriting a loan. You'll need to have covered all these bases well before seeking funding. A business plan won't be useful until you're certain what your company exists for. What will you accomplish for others? What products and services will you produce or provide? Write down all the specific needs your company will satisfy.
Potential investors need to know that your business will be meaningful and marketable to people who can use your product or service.
So concentrate on the external needs your company will meet. What will your product or service enable people to do better, more cheaply, more safely, or more efficiently? Will your new mousetrap help people capture mice without feeling sick to their stomachs? Will your new bubblegum scented bubble bath revolutionize the way children agree to take nightly baths?
Choose a winning strategy. How will you distinguish your product or service from others? Although there are millions of types of businesses, there are actually only a few basic strategies that can be applied to make any enterprise successful. The first step in selecting an effective strategy is to identify a competitive advantage for your product or service. Your competitive advantage may include designing special features not found in rival products. It may entail superior service characteristics such as speedier delivery, a lower price, or more attentive sales people——these are never to be sniffed at as possible winning ways, as many companies grow complacent and can be overtaken by giving customers experiences that are better than the average expectations.
Consider how will you hire and organize your workforce. Keep in mind that your initial plans will undoubtedly change as your business grows.
You may need to hire more managers to supervise your expanding staff or to set up new departments to meet new customer demands. For now, you want to secure help in getting started and convince your funding sources that you will become profitable. Readers of business plans are usually loan officers, public officials, or examiners. Combine all the valid points that relate directly to the business you have in mind without diversion. Each point can be built into a paragraph, using notes and paraphrased material from your certificates, procedure manuals, suppliers, and meetings.
Choose a writing style that is semi-formal and precise: Do make a solid effort to assemble the right documents. Permits, quotes for the rental of premises, estimations for staffing, transport, parts, raw materials, consultations, and timetables must be included. Do seek a session with your local business enterprise center, where you can receive advice and direction about current business practices, and the laws and regulations that govern the industry of your choice.
Show your notes to an experienced person in business who can point out any flaws or omissions. Truthfulness and honesty are detectable, and your candid figures will show everyone involved, including yourself, whether you have drawn up a plan for a viable business. Common Mistakes Business plans should not be persuasive. The role of such a plan is to present facts, figures, and projections to interested parties who might develop a working concern in the enterprise.
The most common mistake found in business plans is a failure to mention the skills and aptitudes of the entrepreneur. It is not wise to leave out any item of importance, such as marketing, product details, provision of parts or raw materials, and so forth.
A frequently seen flaw in any plan or piece of writing submitted to others is rushed or unprepared writing. Research, meetings, calculations, and projections all take time, and drafting a plan from all these materials must be thorough and correct. It is important to understand what information you need to include, and to address each aspect personally and clearly to show how well you have developed your business idea.
You must express why you want to start a particular business above all others, and how important it is as part of your life plan. Poor language skills, inappropriate or irrelevant vocabulary, the wrong tone, and errors in punctuation, grammar, syntax, and structure demonstrate low aptitude. A business plan demonstrates the kind of businessperson you are, and the kind of work you are capable of.
Ask an expert for FREE. Popular Questions Thesis statement and compare contrast essay asked by Admin What is a good thesis statement against euthanasia asked by Anonymous Gender stereotypes persuasive essay asked by Admin Which of the following would best work as the title of an explanatory essay?
Samples for Writing a Business Plan Business Description The Queenstown School of Arts and Crafts is a place where young people can discover and develop their talents for drawing and other pictorial arts. Graduates will be open to new career opportunities, trying themselve The main idea is to combine two activities people enjoy: You should be able to answer questions like, who is your target market?
What are their needs and preferences? How old are they, and where are they located? Make sure to include a competitive analysis that provides research and information on immediate competitors.
List your main competitors strengths and weaknesses and the potential impact on your business. This section is extremely important, as it outlines how your business will gain market share by capitalizing on competitor's weaknesses. Describe your company's organizational structure and management. This section of the business plan focuses on key personnel. Include details about the business owners and its management team.
If the owners and managers and have extensive backgrounds in the industry or a track record of success, highlight it. If you have an organizational chart, include it. Describe your product or service. What are you selling? What's so great about your product or service?
How will customers benefit? How is it better than your competitors products or services? Do you currently have or anticipate developing a prototype, or filing for a patent or copyright? Note all planned activities. For example, if you are writing a plan for a coffee shop, you would include a detailed menu that would outline all your products. Before writing the menu, you would include a short summary indicating why your particular menu sets your business apart from others.
You may state, for example, "Our coffee shop will provide five different types of beverages, including coffee, teas, smoothies, soda's, and hot chocolates. Our wide variety will be a key competitive advantage as we can provide a diversity of product offerings that our main competitors are currently not offering". Write your marketing and sales strategy. In this section, explain how you intend to penetrate the market, manage growth, communicate with customers, and distribute your products or services.
Will you use sales representatives, billboard advertising, pamphlet distribution, social media marketing, or all of the above? Make a funding request. If you will use your business plan to secure funding, include a funding request. Explain how much money you need to start and maintain your small business.
Provide an itemized summary of how start-up capital will be used. Give a timeline for your funding request. To accurately complete this step, in some cases it might be necessary to hire an accountant, lawyer, or other professional. For one full year, provide monthly and quarterly statements. Each year after that, yearly statements.
These documents will be placed in the Appendix Section of your business plan. Include projected cash flows for at least 6 years or until stable growth rates are achieved and if possible, a valuation calculation based on discounted cash flows.
Write the executive summary. Your executive summary will serve as an introduction to your business plan. It will include your company's mission statement and provide readers with an overview of your products or services, target market, and goals and objectives. Remember to place this section at the beginning of your document. When was the business first conceptualized? What are some notable growth benchmarks? Start-ups will focus more on industry analysis and their funding goal.
Mention the company's corporate structure, its funding requirement, and if you will provide equity to investors. Existing businesses and start-ups should highlight any major achievements, contracts, current or potential clients and summarize future plans. This is the very last section and it's meant to provide additional information. Potential investors might want to see this information before making a decision. The documents you include here should support claims made in other sections of the business plan.
There should a section clearly outlining the risk factors affecting your venture and your mitigation plans. This also indicates to the reader how well prepared you are for contingencies.
Review your business plan for spelling and grammatical errors. Do this several times before deciding on the final version. Rework or completely rewrite content to ensure it works from the perspective of the reader. This is especially true if you are creating a "presentation plan". Read your document aloud.
A business plan is a written description of your business's future, a document that tells what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. If you jot down a paragraph on the back of an envelope describing your business strategy, you've written a plan, or at least the germ of a plan.
We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us.
The more you pay, the more advanced business plan options you get. The easy-to-use app guides users through a series of simple questions and prompts. Your answers are used to develop a summary business plan, complete with revenue projections and full-color graphs and charts. The Department of Veterans Affairs' guide to writing a business plan: This basic PDF guide details why you want to write a business plan, gives guidelines for the plan, and discusses common mistakes. It also walks you through what each page of your business plan should contain.
Do you need help with a business plan, but are not quite sure where to start? Our team of professional business writers is always here to help you. This guide will explain why a business plan is a must-have, provide a shortcut to the business planning process, help you collect important background information, and get .