Below are 5 easy steps you can follow to write a professional business plan:
Step #1 – Compose an Outline
Make use of a business plan template. Every business plan has 10 sections and they are as follows: Executive Summary, Company Analysis, Industry Analysis, Customer Analysis, Competitive Analysis, Marketing Plan, Operations Plan, Management Team, Financial Plan, and Appendix. Complete what you are already aware off in each section and make sure not to deviate away from this business plan model. Investors need to know where to look to get the info that they need so stick to this standard plan.
Step #2 – Do not Neglect your Research
Most of the research that you need to do is for the Industry, Customer, and Competitive Analysis sections. Make sure to utilize only reliable, industry-trusted sources so that you get the fact pertaining to the market, stats and trends that are correct. When it comes to the Marketing, Operations, and Financial Plans sections you will need to research start-up as well as operating costs, locations if necessary, as well as the labor pool in your niche. When tackling the Company Analysis don’t forget to also research your own business and include both current and required labor.
Step #3 – Strategize
Determine whether or not to proceed with the plan based on the research you’ve conducted. Your research may show that there isn’t a market for your business and therefore you will need to forget about it. On the other hand if a market exists utilize your research in such a way so as to identify and map any revenue streams from target market to company coffers. This info must be part of your Marketing Plan. Don’t forget to show how the business is to be operated and this is covered in the Operations Plan section.
Step #4 – Work out the Financials
Activities, expenditure, and revenues need to be delivered in accounting terms so that you are able to create the vital projected (pro forma) financial statements of the business. Again, make use of a template in the form of a financial template in a spreadsheet program so that you can fill out a solid financial plan. Alternatively you can consult with an accountant assuming you are not one yourself. Be aware that potential investors really study this section more so than any of the others.
Step #5 – Compose the Narrative
Your business plan should be written in the following order: Write the business plan in this order: Industry Analysis, Customer Analysis, Competitive Analysis, Marketing Plan, Operations Plan, Company Analysis, Management Team, Financial Plan, and finally the Executive Summary. This final part covers the whole business and secures the interest of the investors inviting them to continue reading the entire plan. Place the Executive Summary right at the front of the plan and attach the Appendix which is where you will include all the supporting material such as illustrations and so forth.
Many business plan writers who are unfamiliar with the procedure and process tend to be overly narcissistic regarding their business rather than having a firm grasp on the market and industry in which their company functions. Be aware of this and you will be able to write a business plan that will get investors to sit up and take note.