How to Write a Business Plan Step by Step
If you understood what a business plan is and why it is necessary for launching and expanding your business, then you can go about the process of writing a business plan. In this step-by-step guideline, we will tell you what to include in a business plan and how to make it fly.
3 Basic Rules for Making a Plan
1. Be concise
Business plans are usually brief and concise. This basically stems from the reason that you want your business plan to be read and no one will spend their precious time on extensive business plans. Additionally, a business plan should serve you as a tool that you can make use of for running and expanding your business, something you will continually use and bring improvements to. A lengthy business plan can be tough to deal with and will be simply put into a desk drawer with no prospects of its application in the future.
2. Define your audience
You need to adjust your business plan language to the knowledge of your audience.
For instance, if your organization works on a complex scientific project, but your prospective investors are not deeply knowledgeable about science, you will need to adjust your business plan to their knowledge.
You should put across your idea explicitly, providing simple explanations of your product and using terms that are understandable to everyone. You can also use the appendix of your plan to give more specific details.
3. Do not get scared!
Most business owners and businessmen are a far cry from being business experts. They learn through running their businesses and usually do not have degrees in business.
Thus, one can take a business plan as a tough challenge, which is wrong. If you are knowledgeable about the state of affairs in your company and enjoy running your business, writing a business plan and using it to refine your business will be indeed not as intimidating as you think.
What to Include in a Business Plan
When we have basically got to know the rules of business plan writing, let’s talk about building your business plan in greater detail.
Keep in mind that a good business plan will come in handy in refining your business, not just something compulsory you need to do. Top-quality business plans are like living documents that you can resort to from time to time and update in the process of getting more experienced in dealing with your customers, sales and marketing tactics that can be either successful or not, and what lessons you drew from your right calculations and miscalculation in budget and forecast. Your business plan delineates the goals you strive to attain, and you should resort to it to monitor your progress and set the course as you go.
1. Executive summary
This summary outlines your business and your plans. As a rule, it appears first in your plan and takes from one to two pages. However, most people write it last.
This part gives answers to the following questions: What are you trading in and what is your solution to the problem which menaces your business? Who is your market aimed at? Who are your potential competitors?
How do you intend to seize your opportunity and turn it into a business? In this part, you need to expound on your marketing and sales plan, operations, and what is your yardstick for measuring success.
4. Team and company
Investors search for powerful teams yet not only powerful ideas. Dedicate this chapter to the description of your ongoing team and who you need to recruit. You also need to outline your legal structure, location, and history if your business is under way.
5. Financial plan
Your business plan cannot go without a financial forecast. You can find out what to include in your financial plan on the Internet.
If there is a necessity to provide more information on your product, you can create the appendix to include the details you deem important.
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