Planning is crucial to achieving success. This statement stands valid for both small businesses and large-scale enterprises. Realizing objectives require consistent efforts that adhere to a well-thought-out plan of action. Of course, we can opt for new cable TV deals like Spectrum Specials at any moment. Most of us might finalize the decision in an instant. Some, however, would take the time to think.
That said, writing a business plan can be complicated. After all, not everyone is familiar with the outlines of the business plan. Some companies skip the procedure all together because they find it to be time-consuming. We have compiled a step-by-step guide to help you devise the right business plan.
Step 1. Pick a Template
Selecting a template can provide an overview of your business. A comprehensive, written business plan can tell your audience and investors about what they should expect from you. It lists your history, your objectives, and your strategies. Before we move forward, however, remember that a business idea bears no similarity to a business plan.
Templated business plans serve as blueprints for investors interested in funding nascent businesses. Most financial institutions and venture capitalists prefer businesses that provide a detailed and well-written business plan. You may not secure funding without showing your intention and objectives on paper. No investor wants their investment to drown.
You can choose from two templates. The traditional one is far more detailed as compared to the modern version. The latter is used by businesses that can adapt to changing circumstances aggressively or in a very short time. You’ll be using the former as it is a simple and direct approach to address your investors and audience.
Step 2. Write an Executive Summary
An executive summary comprises a single section or a short document. It carries the crux of the much longer and detailed proposal or report produced for business purposes. The intent is to provide readers with an overview of the business plan. Think of it as a summarized version of the business plan.
How to Write an Executive Summary?
Make sure that your executive summary does not come off as rigid or forced. A good executive summary contains the hook or the unique selling point (USP) of your business. Readers won’t be able to correctly guess your products, services, and expertise. You’ll have to tell them. Create an engaging piece complete with the value proposition and your objectives. Your executive summary must include:
- Name of your organization
- Target audience
- Business address
- Products/services being offered
Step 3. Create a Business Description
Unlike the executive summary, business descriptions are more detailed. Make sure you sound articulate in your business description. The document must contain all the essential and attention-grabbing information about your business. What are the strengths of your business? How is your business contributing to the target market? Do you have an edge over your competitors?
An effective business description includes a mission statement, organizational history, and business objectives. Make sure that you include said elements in your business description. Your mission statement will reflect on the reason behind your company’s existence. Think of it as the heart and soul of your business description. What motivated you to start the business? What difficulties did you face?
When it comes to highlighting the company’s history, you can adopt a narrative tone. But do not make it sound boring or readers would lose interest. This section should cover the date when your company was founded, milestones achieved, employee strength, business location, leadership, and products and services on offer.
Step 4. Describe Your Actual & Potential Market Demographic
The key is to be specific. Investors might not want to invest in a market that’s too broad or flooded with competitors. Describe your industry as well as your target demographic. Their income, location, gender, age, education, profession, etc. Highlight any unique trends that you discovered as part of your market research. Explain where you are faring well, and the ways through which you intend to achieve a niche.
Step 5. Describe Your Product or Service
This section covers everything related to your product or service. Present a detailed account of what you are currently selling. Your product description should cover unique features, customer response, as well as research and development goals.
Step 6. Include a Financial Analysis
Investors love stats. They will want to know how well are the numbers going for your business. This section should cover your past performance as well as future projections. You can use balance sheets, cash flows, and income statements to complement your financial outlook.