Every well written business plan is essentially a logical argument for your business as an investment vehicle. It lays out what your business will do, who your market is and your strategy for growing the company into a successful concern. When you’re writing your business plan, keep the following in mind:
What Can You Do?
You have an idea for a business which you think will be massively successful. You know what you need in terms of resources, how you will manufacture and deliver your products or services to your target market and how to take your business to a buyout or IPO as your exit strategy. It’s great to know what needs to be done; but now you have to make an assessment of what you can do on your own.
If you don’t already have the resources needed to produce your product or service, ask yourself if you know how to get your hands on these resources. Do you have your management team together? If so, do they have the kind of experience that would get a venture capitalists attention? Is there a large enough market for your product or service to make your business viable? Is this market growing? Are there barriers to entry in the industry which you’ll need to overcome? If so, how will you do this and how will you erect new barriers to entry to keep ahead of competitors?
Make a list of what you already have and another list of what you’re going to need. If it’s possible for you to get everything you need to get started, then you have a chance of building a successful business.
Use A Template
Especially if you’ve never written a business plan before, use a template to make things easy. Your template should include all of the following essential elements: Executive Summary, Company Analysis, Industry Analysis, Customer Analysis, Competitive Analysis, Marketing Plan, Operations Plan, Management Team, Financial Plan and Appendix. You’ll then need to create subheadings for each section and fill it out from there.
Get A Second (and third) Opinion
Once you’ve finished a rough draft of your business plan, share it with people whose opinions you value and that you trust. The feedback of others is essential, especially their ideas about whether they think your plan is one which you’ll be able to pull off. Others may spot things that you would not have thought of and the result will be a much better business plan.
Writing a business plan can take a lot of time, but you can get it done more quickly by setting a schedule for the project. If you block out some time every day, you may be able to get it done in as little as a week. The most important thing is to set a realistic schedule and whatever it is, stick to it.