A business plan is a document that describes the purpose and objectives of a company, its products and services, target market, financial forecast, and its strategies. Many beginning entrepreneurs wonder why they should write a business plan. Well, it’s not a good idea to rush into new venture without having a blueprint – a guide to follow. It also serves to attract investors when you seek financial backing. You can write a good business plan by using the following format.
The executive summary is one of the most important sections of a business plan. It should include the history of your company, a brief description of the products and services, mission statement, revenue and cash requirements and information about the competition. It also mentions information about the key personnel of the company. Write an executive summary and make it the first section of the business plan. This one- to two-page summary is used to provide an overview of the business plan, quickly emphasizing important points of each succeeding section. In many cases, the best way to create a top-quality executive summary is to prepare it last, because this allows you to take one or two sentences from each section of the plan and summarize it easily.
Provide a description of your company, if it already exists. Include background information and the company’s mission, current developments and plans for the future, and also the company’s organizational structure. Any impressive achievements or awards should be stated in this section of the business plan. You should conclude this section with a forward-looking tone.
Products or Service
Provide a detailed description of the product or service your company offers or will be offering. Include the features, components, quality, deliverables, etc. You should also include production methods and costs, quality control, as well as potential regulatory issues. Be sure to use simple language that even a layman can understand what you are explaining.
Define your target market and describe who your customers are and how you will reach out to them. Also provide an analysis of your competition and how you will beat them in the market. This section will be especially important to lenders and potential investors because they will want lots of detailed information on how you plan to promote your business and sell your product or service to customers. If you show that you have a great plan the investors will have confidence in you and provide the funding you need.
Prepare the financial management plan, which includes your start-up budget, your start-up expenses as well as your operating expenses. Include income statements and balance sheet to provide a snapshot of your business’s finances. Lenders use this information to get an overview of your business’s current income, past income and future projections. In the financial section of the business plan, you should also discuss your financial goals.
Showcase the members of your management team in this section of the business plan, providing career biographies and highlighting their duties in the company. You should also mention any outstanding academic credentials and business accomplishments that you or any member of your management team has earned. This will get the interest of potential investors and lenders.