Before you begin to write a business plan, keep in mind that the purpose of a business plan is to make a compelling argument to a potential investor that your business is a solid investment. It should tell the reader what your business is about and how it will benefit investors in the long run.
As you start writing your business plan, keep the following in mind:
What can your company do?
Suppose you have a plan for a new business which you envision growing into a profitable multi million dollar company. You understand how it will work, what you’re going to need to get started, how you’ll deliver your products or services to your target market and an exit strategy via a buyout or initial public offering (IPO).
Knowing what needs to be done is half the battle; the next step is to figure out exactly what you can do towards this goal. Do you have the resources and capabilities to produce your products and services – and if you don’t, do you know how to get the resources you need? Who’s on your management team? Do they have a history of success that would make a venture capitalist interested? How about your product or service ? is there a market for it? If so, is this market growing and can you pass the barriers to entry in this industry? Can you set up your own barriers to entry to keep the competition at bay?
Make a list of what you have and what you still need. If you can come up with a realistic scenario to get the resources you need, then you’ll have a chance of succeeding.
Use A Template
There are a lot of different kinds of information which you need to present in your business plan, so it’s a good idea to have a template which gives you a structure for providing the reader with the information they need to make a decision. There are sections which should be included in every template, namely Executive Summary, Company Analysis, Industry Analysis, Customer Analysis, Competitive Analysis, Marketing Plan, Operations Plan, Management Team, Financial Plan and an Appendix. From there, you should also create subheadings which make it easy for you to present all of the information you need to and for readers to find everything they’re looking for.
Get The Opinions Of Others
Once you have a draft version of your business plan, show it to people whose opinions you trust. These people should be able to tell you whether your plan is something that is within your ability to execute; the input of colleagues, friends and family can help you see things which might have escaped your attention otherwise and can mean a much stronger business plan in the end.
Give Yourself A Deadline
It can take a long time to write a business plan, but you’ll generally find that you’ll be able to do it in less time if you give yourself a schedule for the project and hold yourself to it. A business plan is a lot of work, but if you schedule time in your day to work on your business plan, you’ll find it much easier to get it done in a timely manner.