Whether you are starting a new business, or growing one, it is essential to develop a business plan. Many founders think that a business plan is a report, only to be presented to the investors. It instead is the process of finding out how to develop your business venture. A business plan helps the entrepreneur to describe all the necessary parts of the company to grow the business and make money. It helps to think about the long-term strategy, find out if the idea is financially feasible, and anticipate future problems as well as how to tackle them.
Thus, the question is not that if you shall write the business plan, instead it is how to write the business plan. Here, we are detailing the 8 sections that you shall focus on for writing a good business plan:
- What is your value proposition?
- What is the USP of your product?
- How is it different from the already existing products?
- What products or services would you deliver in the future?
2. Industry Analysis:
- How big is your market?
- What is the current economic and industry trend?
- What is the social and political scenario of the region and country?
- Is the industry growing and what is the growth rate?
- What issues are being faced by the present players?
- What are the present government regulations and how they might change in the future?
3. Competitor Analysis:
- Who are your present competitors?
- Who are the major players?
- What areas/customers are they targeting?
- What are the threats and opportunities in the market?
- In which areas can you gain competitive advantage? How?
4. Marketing Strategy:
- What is your target group?
- Which marketing methods and channels would you use to communicate with your customers?
- What is your marketing budget?
- Which would be your most important market?
- What would be your pricing strategy?
5. Operations Plan:
- Who are your suppliers?
- What would be your distribution strategy?
- How would you protect your intellectual property?
- How would your suppliers distribute the raw materials to you?
- What are your short-term and long-term objectives?
It helps to do a value chain analysis to understand the core activity of the business at this stage.
6. Team: One of the most important aspects that any investor sees before investing.
- Who are in your current team and their skills?
- What would be your hiring strategy?
7. Financial Plan:
- What kind of funding do you need for your company?
- Where will you invest these funds?
- What are your projected revenues and profits over the next one to three years?
8. Executive Summary: Executive summary is one of the most important aspects of a business plan, and can make or break a deal. It is presented right at the start of the business plan, and help investors to find out if the idea is feasible. Thus, it is a good idea to write the executive summary at the end, so that you have a clear picture of the entire business.
An executive summary helps a business to answer the most important question: what is the unique thing about my business that will make it succeed? An executive summary shall consist of: summary of business opportunity and vision for the business, distinctive features of your product/service, who is the target market, market size, what is your revenue model, the finances required and what is the equity investment of the owners.
Thus, writing a business plan is not as difficult a task as it is made out to be. Just sit down and answer the questions asked in the above 8 sections, and your business plan would be good to be presented in front of investors. Do keep the plan short, concise and properly formatted so as to make it easy for others to read.