A Business Plan: All You Should Know!

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1 year ago
A Business Plan: All You Should Know!
Picture of By YERH_TEAM

By YERH_TEAM

A Business Plan is a well researched and refined document that defines in detail a company’s objective and how it plans to achieve its goals. It lays out a written roadmap for a business firm from marketing, operational and financial standpoints.

Many successful business enterprises will attest to the fact that their business actions are always informed by a laid down plan.

Success is a common word, darling to the lips of all entrepreneurs who invested their time and resources in planning before execution of their business ideas took effect.

Like in learning institutions, for learning to officially commence, directors of studies are tasked with the responsibility of preparing teaching timetables to ensure effective learning and teaching. A school without a timetable is headed to no good direction if not to fail and fail terribly!

Venturing into the entrepreneurial field without a plan is suicidal for your business management and growth. Having enough funds to finance your business idea is no enough reason to venture into business but a clear roadmap and guide on how to go about it.

But WHAT IS A BUSINESS PLAN?

A Business Plan is a well researched and refined document that defines in detail a company’s objective and how it plans to achieve its goals. It lays out a written roadmap for a business firm from marketing, operational and financial standpoints.

A business plan describes in detail goals, industry standing, operations, marketing objectives and financial projections. The information contained in a business plan is always a helpful guide in running a business as it may likely help in acquiring business loan, raise equity funding, fix business objectives, set a value for your business among others.

A business plan aims at a company’s external and internal audiences as it may be used as a tool for attracting investment before a company even establishes a proven track record as well to secure lending from financial institutions.

It is through a business plan that a business firm/company’s executive team operates on the same page on matters strategic action items and on target for meeting established goals.

For new businesses, business plans are much useful but every company should have their business plan for their own benefit.

Startup companies use business plans to get off the ground and attract outside investors.

Business plans should always be reviewed and updated periodically to reflect goals that have been met have changed in the course of running the business. New business can at times be created for established businesses which may have decided to move in a new entrepreneurial direction.

When WRITING A BUSINESS PLAN, you don’t have to strictly follow a particular outline or template for a reason they are many. For the benefit of your business, use only those sections that makes the most sense for the business and its needs.

A well-considered and well-written business plan can be of great if not enormous value to your business. Your plan should include an overview as well details of the industry of which your business will be a part. It should explain how the business will distinguish itself from its competitors.

For instance, you can start with the essential structure which has an executive summary, company description, market analysis, organization and management, products or service description, marketing strategy, financial projections, funding request and appendix.

Steps to follow when writing a business plan.

Executive summary:  An executive plan should provide an overview of your business plan and highlight the key points of your plan. It outlines the company and includes the mission statement along with any information about the company’s leadership, employees’ operations and location. It should be clear, persuasive and concise.

Company/Business description: This should provide a detailed description of your business/ company, including products or services offered, your target market and competition.

Market analysis: This should include an analysis of your industry/ your target market as well your competition while also highlighting strategies that outlines how you plan to attract and retain customers. Detail your competition and how the company fits in the industry along with its relative strengths and weaknesses 

Organization and management: This should outline the structure of your organization including roles and responsibilities of each member of your team.

Products and Services description: Here, you should provide and describe the products and services you intend to offer and how they will benefit your customers.

Marketing and sales strategy: This should outline your marketing and sales strategies including but not limited to how you plan to reach your target market and how you plan to ensure all your efforts succeed.

Financial Projections: Here, you should include financial projections such as your revenues, expenses and profits. These forward -looking financial statements are often called proforma financial statements or simply the “proformas.” You should also include a budget and a cash statement.

Funding request: This should outline your funding needs and how you plan to use the funds to grow business entity.

Appendix: You should include any additional information here that supports your business plan. Such information may be resumes of key team members, letters of reference or market research data.

 

A major reason for a business plan is to give owners a clear picture of objectives, goals, resources, potential cost and drawbacks of certain business decisions.

A business plan should help them modify their structures before implementing their ideas as well as projecting the type of financing required to get the business up and running.

Note that a business plan needs not to be a static document. It should be and living document that evolves with your business. As the business grows and changes, so too should the business plan. An annual review of the company and its plans allows an entrepreneur or group of owners to update the plan based on successes, setbacks and other new information that may be available.

It is also important to note that businesses with business plans also fail. No matter how good your business plan is, if you do not stick to the plan your business firm may fail thus need to make it a guiding document to your business operations.

 

If sticking to your business plan is not any of your priority, it is better if you do not make it a choice in the first place to write one!

 

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