What is a business plan? Why do you need a business plan? Who needs a business plan? When do you need a business plan and how do you write a compelling business plan?
Imagine someone waking up, dressing up, getting into his car and he begins to drive to work without a destination in mind. What is bound to happen? He might end up at work on a very slim chance of luck or he would end up nowhere close to work. Why? Because with a destination in mind, he can map out or ask for directions which would lead him to his destination. There might even be shorter routes to get there. If you start your business without a business plan you are like our hypothetical individual. Now to answer our opening questions, let’s find out what a business plan is, how it suits your business and how to write it.
A business plan is a written document that outlines clearly business goals and objectives and how to achieve them. Simply put, a business plan is the roadmap that guides you on the actualization of your business vision from a marketing, financial, and operational standpoint.
A business plan guides you on how to run and structure your business. With a destination and a roadmap in mind, you can review your progress, know where to re-strategize, access your growth and reposition for productivity. However, without one, its possible to be groping about and not know where or what exactly you need to fix. Some of the important issues your business plan address include your market, your customers, competitors and your financial commitment and output. And basically these are the blocks that make up a business.
Business plan as the name implies are for businesses. It doesnt matter the size or industry you function in, so long as its a business, you should consider writing a business plan.
Most persons only think of business plans when they are about to ask for loans or speak to investors. While this is a great time to write a business plan to convince your investors about the viability of your business, writing a business plan at the start-up stage is well advised. That way you have a guideline to steer you in achieving your business goals.
Now to the big question, how do I write a compelling business plan? Before we share the major components for your business plan, kindly bear in mind that your business plan should not be lengthy and filled with jargons. Try to keep it simple and straight to the point. Your investor is most likely going to be focused on your financials anyway. The following should be the component for your business plan:
Executive Summary: This is a one page statement about your business opportunity, purpose of the business plan and expected financial results.
Description of the Business: Here you get to describe your product or service and its strengths.
Market Overview: At the market overview you describe your target market by geography, income and demographics. Here you also state the competitive products and current buying patterns of the market.
Industry Overview: Considering you might have competitors you will want to discuss on your competitors and their products.
Business Opportunity: Why will your business do well in the market and what are your future projections
Financial Projections: Your financials is one of the major component of your business so you might want to pay attention to it. This section includes your income statement, balance sheet and projected financial statements
Appendices: Newspapers, articles and researches done are captured in this section.
The importance of a business plan cannot be overemphasized. If you have been running your business without one, imagine how much insight you’ll get when you decide to prepare one for your business. Do you want assistance writing a more comprehensive or bankable business plan, kindly mail us @ firstname.lastname@example.org
By: Omore Orifa