The Business Plan is the blueprint for your business. It describes the products and services, financing, operational model and other aspects of a Business.
Why Write a Business Plan?
We often make the mistake of thinking that a business plan is something you just tick off your ‘to do’ list and then never look at it again. But in reality, the business plan of any business changes over time as the business grows.
Writing a Business Plan is a good way to test if your idea for starting a business is feasible. Having a plan in place can help you accomplish a great deal of work, identify your strengths and weaknesses. It also helps in keeping you focused on your goals.
If you’re looking to raise funds from investors, it’s extremely essential that you write a Business Plan.
I will take you through the steps that one should follow before writing a Business Plan
• Research – It’s very important that you research about your Business Industry, Market, and Competitors which you’re entering in.
• Know your Audience – In the end it’s all about your customers; they’re the ones who are going to buy your product. Research, research, and research about what they like, how they talk, who makes their decisions and a lot more.
• Have a Clear Goal – While writing a business plan you want to keep in mind if it’s a self -funded or a bootstrapped business. It’s going to have different goals if you’re looking to attract investors.
BUSINESS PLAN MUST INCLUDE
• Company Overview –This Section includes a description of your business and what you’re planning to do. You can include information about your industry, your vision, values, short and long term objectives, your team, their salaries, etc.
• Products & Services –A description about your products and services is mandatory. You can include points like what problem do they solve, why is there a need for your product or service.
• Market Analysis – Market Analysis is a key section of your Business Plan. Have a clear idea of your target market. Competitive analysis can help you plan how to be better than your competitors. SWOT Analysis will help you analyse your Strength & Weaknesses, so you can use your strengths to your advantage and look for ways to improve in the areas where your Business is weak.
• Marketing Plan – Your marketing plan would depend on your target audience, their likes and dislikes, what are their needs, what would urge them to buy your product and so on. Focus on the ideas that fit your ideal customer. For example: If you’re planning on investing in Facebook ads, you must research if your target audience is actually using the platform. Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing are some of the ways you can include in your Marketing Plan.
• Operations –Operations include the work you need to get done to get your ideas turned into reality. Your Inventory, Suppliers, Shipping Partners, Equipment, etc. are all a part of this Section.
• Financial Projections – If you’re planning to attract investors or writing a business plan for yourself, Finances of a company are the most important part. Finances can make or break a company. It is important that you include and work on your Income Statement, Cash Flows, and Balance Sheet.
• Executive Summary – It’s an overview, snapshot of your Business. This should be the last section you write in a business plan. Highlight the key points like a brief description of your business, goals, vision, product description, audience, marketing plan, financials, team etc.
Having discussed why a business plan is important, what is more important is taking ACTION! Taking action to turn your ideas into reality.
Founder and Director, Semessta