If your entrepreneurial brain has finally got a world-changing idea, it is time to roll up your sleeves, gather all the relevant information and make a business plan. The world’s best businesses know these are not just the ideas that make them successful but the direction in which they work.
A business plan provides that direction. It explains your goals for the future and the course of actions you will take at present to achieve them. A successful business needs a successful plan. Let’s see how you can do it.
This is the first chapter of your business plan and the one that will be read most. A fantastic executive summary means that you can hook up your reader to read the rest of your business plan. If your company is a startup, write about the background of your company and maybe how the idea came into being. On the other hand, if your business is well-established then talk about the operations and functions of your business.
However, any executive summary of yours shouldn’t be longer than one or two pages in length. In concise sentences, it should explain what your business is and its goals for the future. In case you are looking for any sort of financial funding, mention your funding goals. Each and every word is important in the summary so make sure it counts.
This section should give an overview of your business or company. Use this section to describe the details of your business and what makes it so different from your competitors. You should also describe the industry your business functions in. It should establish credibility, so your potential investors can be assured of investing in a prospective idea. Give a brief description of the legal standing of your business. In the end, your description should clearly explain your future goals and your plan to achieve them.
In this chapter, you are supposed to present a market analysis and the description of your industry and competitors. Start with describing your industry, its size, how it has evolved and how it will change in the future. Then, describe how beneficial your business can be for the industry and any barriers you may face. This will ensure to your readers that you have done your research. Moreover, mention all the competitors in the industry, their products and services, and how they affect your business. Then, describe how you will stay ahead of your competition and be the best of the lot.
This is a rather easier part of the plan. You will have to explain the organizational structure of your business. This may include the background of all the key stakeholders, managers, partners, and the entire team and board of directors. You can also mention any future hires that you’ll do to enlarge your team.
So you described your business in the previous pages but now you should dive in the details of what your business offers. In this part, describe what your products are and what makes them so different. Then, explain whether your product is ready to be introduced in the future or it’s just an idea. In case, you haven’t developed your product you should clearly mention through which operations you will produce it. Does your product or its component comes from a vendor? If yes, mention their details.
Tired of writing much? Don’t worry, we are almost at the end. This section is the most crucial for investors as you’ll mention your marketing and promotional strategy. Are you going to make the use of conventional forms of marketing or digital? Is there anything in your service, which you can offer for free? Do you have a sales force? If yes, then how big? These are all the questions you should answer in this section.
Do you already have some financial data from previous operations? Then, use this section to mention all the income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets and any documentation of debt obligations. In case, you are just starting your business, forecast your financial expenditures by mentioning statements of projected income, capital expenditure budgets, and cash flow forecasts. Finally, mention the funding amount you need right now and in the near future. Don’t forget to mention why you need it too.
Yes, you made it to the end! The last section of your business plan should include the table of contents and then any additional information you may like to mention. This can comprise of footnotes, additional documents, resumes of you and your team or data points.
That’s it! Your quick guide to create a selling business plan. However, throughout your business plan, be efficient and concise with your goals. Make sure your every word counts.