Writing a business plan is an important step in starting your business or expanding an existing one. Most importantly, it’s something you need to do once before you launch!
Running out of ideas can be frustrating, so creating a template that you can then edit and add content to is the best way to go about it.
Writing a business plan isn’t easy, which is why most people get stuck when they try. Luckily, there are some pretty simple templates available online that can help you start off on the right foot.
Business planning comes down to three main components: mission and vision, market analysis, and key resources. This article will talk more about the first component — the mission and vision.
Once you have determined what your company does and who uses it, you can begin developing your business plan.
Writing a business plan is not like writing most other documents where you can use an example or template as a framework. When drafting a business plan, it is very important to make sure your focus is narrow enough so that what you include in the document makes sense and brings emphasis to the proper topic.
If your plan includes topics such as running the company, marketing strategies, etc., then your business plan is too broad. These parts of the plan may also be written by someone else, but they must still match the quality standard set here!
Your final business plan should contain only two things: (1) how to run the company and (2) what steps will be taken for the next six months. Beyond this, there are many ways to structure the rest of the plan.
You do not need to cover everything about the company, its future, and all the products and services it offers; these things are going to change frequently.
Writing down what you want to do and why is an excellent way to begin writing about yourself and your business. Add how you will achieve these goals and then make a summary.
A good business plan should have some of the following components: mission, leadership team, market analysis, current state analysis, value proposition, cost structure, return on investment (ROI), projected revenue, and monthly projections.
You can start organizing all this information into different documents or pages as needed. Once everything is in place, organize it by importance to ensure that nothing gets lost!
Keep developing your business until it’s perfect, but don’t get too attached to it because things will happen! Sometimes life gets in the way and you need to reevaluate where you left off.
Now that you have established what your business is, where it will be located, and who will own it, it’s time to think about how to run it. This is the part of the plan where you address issues such as whether you will handle financial matters yourself or hire professionals to do so, how you will promote your business, and how you will survive financially if some key areas are missing up front.
All of these topics can easily fill pages in themselves, which is why it is best to break them down into sections and then add more detail to each one as needed. When writing your first draft, try to focus on creating a strong narrative flow and then breaking out additional details later.
This way you don’t get bogged down too quickly! Once again, keep it simple, but make sure everything has been considered. If there is something important left out, you can always come back to it later.
Writing a business plan is not just about telling people what you are going to do and then doing it. It’s really engaging in conversation with potential investors, lenders, or customers.
Your goal in this section is to tell them why they should invest in you or give you their money. You can’t simply say “we will do such and such!” unless you have done that before.
You need to make sure you know what you are talking about!
When writing your plan, think about who you are speaking to and be a realist of how much time they will give you to convince them of your ideas.
Try to keep it simple, clear, and logical. Use numbers when appropriate. Try to link your idea directly to the benefits for your audience.
A business plan is not a way to make yourself look good or even become famous. It’s only intended to help you get funding for your startup or expand an existing business.
So, whether you are working on your first plan or your hundredth, be honest with yourself about what you know and what you don’t. Don’t assume things will work out because you think they should!
You may need to reconsider some of your assumptions or learn new skills before investing in this important piece of business documentation.
Also, remember that most people review plans online so try to keep it simple, straightforward and clear. Use easy-to-understand language and diagrams where appropriate.
Even though it is tempting to use your business plan as proof that you are an excellent entrepreneur, do not depend too much on this document.
This can be difficult because most people including yourself probably have no experience writing one before.
That being said, you should definitely take time to make sure yours looks professional.
But even then, what works for someone else’s plan may not work for yours. You must clearly understand that any business ideas you had two years ago may not work now.
Changes in the market, technology, and other factors will quickly give way to new opportunities or end things for you if you fail to update your business strategies.
Now that you have determined what your business is, and where it will be located, it’s time to think about how to run it. What are your strengths? What do people know you well for? Can you offer these services or products at a lower price than others?
You should also consider whether there are any gaps in the market that your business could fill. Are there too many of one type of product or service?
Your plan should include strategies for overcoming potential hurdles. For example, if no one knows you very well, then you might want to start out by offering low prices before building up trust with your offerings.
Writing a business plan is not just for professional degree programs or large businesses, even you can do it! While some may consider writing a business plan as simply creating an article with bullets and themes, it is actually much more than that.
When you write out a business plan in flow, using time frames and milestones, then re-write and revamp, it becomes much more than an article. It is a way to organize and conceptualize important steps towards achieving your long term goals.
Business plans have various purposes; they are not all aimed at taking over the world like some might make you believe! Some small business owners and professionals use them as goal setting documents, marketing tools, and self assessments of what their company needs to achieve next.
Writing a business plan can be tricky if you don’t know how to start though. Luckily, we got you covered! In this article, we will go through a simple step by step process to write a business plan template.