Business plans play a huge role in giving your business a stable structure. With a business plan, you can be guided through each stage of starting and running your business. A business plan provides a roadmap for you and gives you a path to walk through in all the stages of your business’s growth.
Here are the basic steps to writing a business plan:
Choose A Business Plan Format That Suits You Best
This is something every business owner should know. There’s no one way to write a business plan. What worked for you may not work for someone else, and vice versa. This is why you have to know what suits you and what suits your business best before going on with the plan.
There are two main categories for business plans; lean start-ups, and traditional business plans.
Lean start-up business plans are less common than traditional plans, and they both make use of a standard structure. But while lean start-up business plans tend to focus on summarizing the most important elements of your plan, traditional business plans are usually dozens of pages long, and they require more work to pull together.
Write out Your Executive Summary
This is where you tell your reader what your company is all about, and why your company will be successful. You’re to include your mission statement, your product or service, and every basic information about your company’s leadership team, location, and employees. You’re to also include financial information and growth plans if your intention is to request financing.
Outline Your Company Description
Here, you’re required to provide detailed information about your company. What problems will your business solve? Give specific details, listing out your target customers and clients. You should also explain the competitive advantages that your business has, and state if you have experts on your team. If you don’t, suspend this plan now, and get the experts first. You’ll need them.
You’re to possess a comprehensive understanding of your industry outlook. Study the market, and find out what other businesses are doing, and what makes them stand out. What are their strengths? Look out for trends and themes. These successful competitors, what do they do that makes them so successful? Can you do it better?
Organization and Management
Here, you describe the structure of your business to your reader. Who will be managing what and how will the business be run? Describe how your business is legally structured, and state whether you intend to incorporate your business as an S or C corporation.
Describe Your Service or Product Line
What will your business be selling or what service will you be offering? Explain how this will benefit your customers, and what the product lifecycle looks like. Share your plans for intellectual property, such as copyright and patent fillings. If you’ll be doing research for your service or product, be sure to explicitly explain this.
Marketing and Sales
Highlight your marketing strategy, describing how your strategy will attract the customers you intend to have, and how efficient this strategy will be in fulfilling your plans and financial projections.