Few things in life are as equally daunting and exciting as writing your business plan. For someone who has never done one before, it can be difficult to know what exactly to include.
The document is supposed to be a plan of what you’re going to do and how you’re going to go about it, but knowing how much or how little detail to go into can be confusing.
We can’t write your business plan for you, but we can tell you what it absolutely needs to include. Here are some important matters it’s vital your business plan accounts for.
Basic Concept of Business Plan
What is your business? What are you doing differently? How are you going to achieve your aims?
These are the questions your basic concept needs to cover before you start. This section needs to discuss the industry you will be entering and the space you hope to occupy within it.
How will your particular product or service affect people and entice their interest? In short, how do you hope to make sure this business you’re proposing is a success.
Think of this as a pitch of your business as a whole. If you’re looking to sell a product, outline what the product is and how you are proposing to sell and promote that product in a unique way. Somebody should be able to understand the rough outline of your business from this section, so make sure it’s succinct and specific.
Financial Plans and Requirements
Having your finances in order is the most essential step to securing the future of your business within your business plan.
In this section, you will lay out what financial investment you need based on your projected financial statements. This will help provide a model to explain how your plans for the company and its strategies will play out.
This section should be entirely based on factual projections, rather than a personal feeling about how you hope the business will grow. Don’t downplay your ambition, but make realistic predictions influenced by the state of the market at the time and your expected place within it.
These facts need to be checkable and demonstrable, no one will invest in a business plan that has no credibility or projected potential based in reality. It will simply be too big a risk.
Within this plan, it helps to include methods you attempt to implement to make sure your business doesn’t go the way of so many others before you. Think about methods unique to your business or industry that could help you implement more profitable systems.
For example, if you run a fleet of vehicles, it would benefit you to introduce fuel cards for all of your drivers. A UK Fuels card can help you save your business money every time someone buys fuel and cuts out complications in the expenses claiming process. Little changes like this make a huge financial difference in the long run.
A Market and Audience to Pursue
Now you have a basic concept, you need to explain who you’re going to target with your new business.
Target demographics and audiences are a vital part of making a business successful and not spending months feeling around in the dark for the perfect person to try and sell to.
What does this customer look like and why would they be interested in you? Are you targeting customers or looking to sell B2B? The second audience requires a very different approach. Once you’ve decided what kind of audience you want to reach, you need to determine how you’re going to reach them.
You don’t need to go in-depth into your marketing strategy, but give an idea of what will set your business apart from others in your market.
Background On Your Team
Businesses are rarely started by just one person anymore, a solid team of experienced professionals will be needed to get the business off to a good start and establish credibility to potential investors.
Information about key members of staff and their positions within the business is an often misunderstood part of a good business plan. This isn’t a space to go into a long, detailed biography of their personal skills and traits, but explain their employment history and the opportunities that afford your business to grow.
If an investor can see someone from a well-established company will be coming in to head up an operation in your business, they will have more faith in its potential.
WHAT DO DO NEXT
Use this section to show why you have faith in this person in the same way you have faith in the ideas and target markets of the plan.
Business plans don’t need to be the impossible task it almost feels like they are. There are a lot more elements you should factor into yours. This will obviously change from industry to industry, but these are four key sections it’s vital to include.
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