The key to coming up with a solid, professional business plan in record time is to do your research ahead of time. You need to know if there is a market for the product or service that you plan to provide and who your prospective customers are as well as what kind of competition you’re up against. Once you’ve done your research, you need to come up with a strategy for success, determine what your projected costs and revenues will be, develop a business plan and refine it into a finished product.
Interview prospective customers, other entrepreneurs in the same industry and use any reliable sources you can find to learn as much as possible about the industry, the market and your competition. Take notes and make sure to cite your sources correctly your entire business plan relies on this information.
Start off with best practices for the industry to make sure that your strategy has already been field tested. However, you need to adapt your strategy to set yourself apart from competitors and develop barriers to entry that will help you to outcompete your rivals; this will be a foundation of your business plan.
3. Do The Math
Now you’ll need to figure out the cost of doing business. You’ll want to include operating costs for year one, up to year five and longer term projections of your costs. The next step is to come up with projected revenue for these periods. These projections absolutely must be realistic (which is why research is the first and most important step). If you don’t seem to understand the realities of business, potential investors will pass your business plan by.
4. Rough Draft
This should be pretty easy if you’ve done your homework so far. Your plan should consist of the following ten sections: Executive Summary, Company Analysis, Industry Analysis, Customer Analysis, Competitive Analysis, Marketing Plan, Operations Plan, Management Team, Financial Plan and Appendix.
5. Revise And Create Your Final Draft
Revise and proofread your rough draft, removing any unnecessary information, since investors like business plans to be as concise as possible. It’s a good idea to ask people you trust to look it over for you as well; since you’re so close to the plan, you may miss flaws that other people will spot.