A business plan plays a critical role in launching any business venture today. The big problem is that many entrepreneurs often get frustrated at the very beginning because they don’t know how to create a plan.
If they do manage to start writing it, they may drag their business plan out for years, which may cost a lot because the optimal moment to get to market is lost or the suitable funding opportunity is missed.
Let’s see how a credible business plan can be created in 6 simple steps.
What is a business plan?
A business plan is a document, which sets out the venture’s future strategies and objectives for reaching a company’s goal of achieving success.
What is the purpose of a business plan?
A business plan plays a role of a roadmap, which includes a number of essential steps that need to be taken in order for the business to become profitable and sustainable.
What a typical business plan should include?
It is recommended that a business plan includes the following:
- Executive summary
- Company description
- Market analysis
- Services or products
- Marketing plan and sales strategies
- Financial objectives
- Logistics and operations plan
6 essential steps for creating a business plan
Reportedly, those entrepreneurs who crafted their business plans within three months are more successful than those who spent more than that. If you feel like you are ready to start working on your business plan, don’t delay and follow the steps below:
Do the research
Having a business idea is great but you will need to invest a substantial amount of time into doing thorough research. Gather crucial information about your potential customers, how big demand for your service is and what your competitors do to make selling their product profitable.
Figure out the goal of your business plan
You need to understand what your audience is and who you are creating your plan for. Perhaps, you write it for yourself because you want to clarify your ideas and see the general picture of how your business needs to be developed. You may also write it for attracting investors who will want to estimate the feasibility of your offer so in this case, you will need to take into consideration the interests of those who consider funding your venture.
Outline your company profile
Here, you will need to answer such important questions as who you are, what you offer and what you plan to do. You may include some information about your target market and explain why your company and its products or services are unique and potentially profitable.
Create a strategic marketing plan
When crafting a marketing plan, you need to have your customer in mind. Think of what is expected from you and what your ideal customer is ready to give you instead. In fact, all your decisions and plans are to be based on what your customer values. The main points of the marketing plan must be price, service or product, place of distribution and promotion.
Work on logistics and operations plan
Here is another important section of your business plan. You will need to cover all that is related to suppliers, production, equipment, facilities and shipping. In this part, you are supposed to demonstrate that you have a clear understanding of all the workflows, which are essential for turning an idea into a ready product.
Calculate business feasibility in a financial plan
There are three main financial elements that need to be included in the plan. First, an income statement is supposed to provide your readers with preliminary information about your expenses and revenue sources over a defined period of time. Second, a balance sheet is designed to give your audience a look at the amount of equity in your business. Third, a cash-flow statement demonstrates when the revenues are expected to be collected and when the expenses will be paid.
Planning beforehand can be crucial for the success of your business venture. Investing a certain amount of time into creating a credible business plan can save the day and in fact, the task shouldn’t be too difficult for those who are truly passionate about their business.