How to Write Your Plan
When writing your business plan, it’s important to understand what material goes into the plan. Therefore, research should be your first priority. You have to explore every aspect of your business. Especially if you’re launching a startup and seeking to acquire bank loans or investments.
Typically, banks or investors require a detailed plan illustrating how and when they will receive their return on investment (ROI).
However, even if your company doesn’t need financing, writing a business plan is still vital for success. It will help you identify market advantages, internal opportunities, weakness and much more.
Components of a Business Plan
A business plan is a document that shows how a company plans to launch a business. This document is the foundation of a business. It contains detailed data and information that illustrates an organization’s strategies and plans to achieve its business goals. It also includes a time frame of when organizational business goals will be achieved.
The main contents of a business plan for start up businesses include;
- Management summary
- Business goals
- Vision and mission statement
- Business description
- Business environment analysis
- Market analysis
- Detailed marketing plan
- Financial planning
As a whole, this document is the foundation of your business. It guides your business and serves as a map.
The companies business goals define where an organization plans to be in the future. When establishing business goals, it’s advised to set SMART goals. The business goals refer to an organization’s larger purpose. Your organizational business goals should:
- Define core values — The company’s philosophy, core values and belief play a major role in your mission statement.
- Outline what your company does — Summarize the reason of your company’s existence.
- List your specialties — Define components that make your product(s) or service special
- Identify the customers — The target market or target audience in which your organization will concentrate its marketing efforts.
- Address business goals & objectives — The mission should align with business goals and objectives.
- Discover customer solutions — Define solutions to better service customers
- Summarize your thoughts — Keep it short and simple, this compressed document.
When it’s all said and done, business goals are essential for startup success. Accurately identifying your business goals will increase your probability of success. It’s here where organizations find their strengths, abilities to rise above their competitors.
The management summary or executive summary is the first step for developing your business plan. It’s basically a compressed version of your marketing plan. More specifically, it summarizes your companies’ current status and futuristic plans. Typically, an introduction includes the name of the organization, product description, product differentiation and target market.
Your product description should be analyzed from the customer’s perspective. Be sure to include the product’s special features. The product description should address questions customers may ask when purchasing a product. Do your products solve problems? Are your products user-friendly? Will consumers have emotional triggers using your product(s)?
Vision & Mission Statement
Determining the future of your organization takes time and patience. This process does not happen overnight. To shape the future of your organization, you need to identify the vision and mission of your organization. Normally, managers and managers are delegated to do this task.
At any rate, the mission statement and the vision statement is usually combined into one comprehensive document. The mission statement describes the organization’s ambitions or aspirations. It illustrates the nature of your business. Whereas, the vision statement is a document that states your perspective of your organization in the future.
The business description is a document that outlines key components of your organization. This document lists key elements like your physical location, what your company does. It also describes your product’s special features. In addition, it tells the audience how your product and service is different compared to others in the market.
Business Environment Analysis
A business environment analysis is an examination of internal and external elements related to the business environment. It helps you identify elements that can impact your organization’s performance. To be more specific, it gives you the ability to identify macro-environmental elements that affect your business.
The market analysis is a method of market research that identifies changes in the marketplace. It examinates both qualitative and qualitative data. The process helps you understand the requirements of your market, i.e., market barriers, industry regulations, customer segments and their buying patterns. You can also discover how your competitors segment or engage with the target audience.
Blueprint Outlining Advertising & Marketing Efforts
The next step is to produce a document outlining the organization’s advertising and marketing efforts for the coming year. This comprehensive document, better known as a small business marketing plan, describes the action plan to achieve organizational marketing efforts. It describes who the company plans to target, where is the location of the business and how the efforts are achieved. More importantly, it mentions when the targets will be achieved. At the end of the day, the plan helps an organization solve internal and external market issues.
Financial planning plays a major role in the success of a startup company. The financial plan or investment plan is a document that contains a company’s financial goals. Typically, this document contains short term, mid-term and long term goals.