Business Plan - How to Write a Business Plan

A business plan is a document with guidelines and analysis for the purpose of fulfilling business goals. It lays out a detailed plan consisting of business vision, marketing analysis, product and services to be offered by the business, the target audience and the marketing plan to promote and sustain the business. The plan should contain the layout of the idea of the business, the process and activities required to expand and sustain the market, the operational costs required and an overview of the expenses and profit for a period of 1 year, 5 year, and 10 years.

The essential components of the plan are listed below:

  1. Index page
  2. A brief discussion about the business
  3. The vision of the business
  4. Product and services offered by the business
  5. Industrial background
  6. Thorough analysis of the business
  7. Opportunities for expansion
  8. Marketing plans for promoting the business
  9. Financial planning to support the business activities
  10. SWOT (Strength, weakness, opportunities and threats analysis).

Types of Business Plans

Internally focused business plans:

It is a field-tested strategy which centers around inside centered business targets, transitional objectives which help an association to arrive at their marketable strategies. Internally focused business plans may contain subtleties like another help that has been included in the new product launch, budgeting strategies for expansion and cost cutting, overhaul of the operational processes to increase the overall efficiency of the system, IT infrastructure changes, and replacements and more.

Externally focused business plan:

As the name suggests, it talks about the external factors which impact the business growth and expansion. Investors who are providing funding to the business, stakeholders and their objectives in need of business expansion and the geographies where the business should explore the opportunities to expand.

Impactful business plan:

To create an impact via the business plan, it should talk about the opportunities which can lead to setting a sustainable business which grows year to year. If you want to create an impact on investors and stakeholders, you must ensure that the plan is impressive and has a layout for the aggregation of funds. Use the following pointers to write an impressive business plan:

Research the market and competition: Comprehensive research includes uncovering data about clients, competitors, and a point by point report about working capital expense of the business. The information can be gathered from an assortment of strategies extending from articles and information bases to organizing interviews with different businesspeople or even potential clients. Research must be composed and recorded cautiously with all the data assembled. The data source should be recorded alongside the data, as the source must be referenced inside the marketable strategy.

Making flexible strategies: Data gathered must be utilized pertinently to help the marketing strategy. The examination must be exhaustive and exact so that the business strategy can provide a path and guideline to the tasks of the business or the firm. The hiring strategy of the business must be taken into consideration. The organization should take complete advantage of the strategy for changing tedious processes and implementing latest methodologies.

Proper calculation: The purpose of the business plan can be to get investment and provide interest to stakeholders and investors. There should be a detailed calculation about expenses, cash flow to suit the financial model adopted by the business. The idea is to ensure that no expense is left out of the purview of the calculations which can later on impact finances. Business plans at length are about operational expenses, salaries, maintenance cost, overhead expenses, and contingency expenses.

Revision for a perfect plan: The plan you are making will be presented to stakeholders and investors to build interest in the business. To make it impressive and highly impactful, you should revise it a multiple times to find structural and functional flaws if any, and include missed opportunities in the plan. You can also ask your business partner or finance specialist to proofread and check the consistency and flow.

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Nuances of the business plan

The business plan is your first investment in the business, and it should be a great move setting up the context of the business. The below table shows the important aspects of the plan

Product and services

The products and services that will be offered by the business in the market

Marketing plan

No business can sustain without promotion and hence it is utmost important to have a rigid marketing plan

Expansion opportunities

The business should talk about where it can expand and grow in the market

Management and operations

Just laying out the plan is not enough; it should state the operations and management as well.

Business Plan FAQs:

a. How long should be the business plan?

There is no ideal length of the business plan. It can be from 20 pages to 100 pages depending upon the industry and intricacies involved.

b. What are the major parts of the business plan?

It should include vision, marketing plan, strategies, calculations, product and services

c. Who should write the business plan?

From small business owners to large enterprises, all organization require business plans for laying out a proper instruction channel for investors and stakeholders.

d. What is the purpose of a business plan?

It is imperative to write a plan before starting the business. It can lead to understanding the hidden problems that one can face

e. How to check the competition for the business plan?

The competition depends upon the product and services being provided by the company. If you are making product then you can search for the local competitors who are making the similar product. For services, you will have to look on web for the competition. There are some websites which share the information about the competitors and other important details as well.

f. How to elaborate on the product and services section?

The product and services section of the business plan highlights the final product and the service your organization will be providing to the customers. You will need to discuss the market share and demand available in the market.

g. What is a marketing plan?

A marketing plan is the promotion strategy that you will follow to spread the word about the organization. It can online or physical marketing. For online you can mention the tools that will be required for promotion.

h. How to state the vision of the business in a plan?

Where you would want to see the organization in the next few years is the vision of your business plan. You should be clear where you want the company to be and what should it achieve in the coming years.

i. Is the conclusion required in the business plan?

An ending statement can do wonders. Imagine a well written business plan which ends up motivating the reader to take an action. State some concluding statement in the end of the business plan is well required.

j. What expenses should be covered in the business plan?

The plan should mention the operational costs, salaries, overhead costs, costs of getting the licenses and set-up.