Business plans are documents used for planning out specific details about your business. It ranges in size from a few sentences to more than 100 pages of content with formal sections, a table of contents and a title page.
A business plan is often times called a road map, it is a step by step guide pointing to your business goals and also giving details of how to achieve those goals.
The days of writing long business plans are over, this time it is kept simple and straight to the point, giving only what is needed to secure finance or the interest of investors.
TYPES AND IMPORTANCE OF BUSINESS PLANS
There are various types of business plans, all depending on the purpose it is meant to serve;
There is the business plan for starters; the One-page business plan; Internal plan; Operational plan; Feasibility plan; Annual plans; Strategic plans; Lean business plans; and the Standard business plan(the common type).
All of these plans are written with a general importance attached to it which is to:
1- State clearly the nature of the business.
2- State clearly the future vision of the business.
3- To attract finance either as loan from bank or as investment from investors.
4- Attract and motivate team members.
5- Manage the company through its detailed description of the roles to be played by the staffs.
OUTLINE OF A BUSINESS PLAN
A business plan can be written under six (6) simple outlines:
Most times, this appears just after the title page but it’s the last to be written. It contains informations on the perceived problem, your solutions, founding team, target market and the financial forecast.
It should be kept short and simple, straight to the point as it serves as the company’s doorway. The quality of your summary might determine the fate of your business plan.
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
Every business is supposed to solve a particular problem. Your business shouldn’t be any different, after all, you get paid for providing a solution.
This is where you discuss the problem, your solution to the problem and how you intended to deliver your services to the consumer.
It is important that your consumers be the focus when writing this chapter. Most times, tables are needed for better understanding, especially in the area of pricing.
Every product has its market and for every market, there are competitors.
This is where you discuss detailed knowledge of your target market, where they are, how to locate them to showcase your product, the anticipated change and how you intend to manage the change.
You will also bring your competitors to light, analyse their SWART and how you will tackle them, stating clearly your advantage over them.
STRATEGY AND IMPLEMENTATION
Here you will state your marketing plan, sales plan, methods and technology you intend to use for your business. State clearly other logistics and necessary equipment you will be using.
You will give details of how you intend to get the business up and running. Skills you will use to get your business to the top and in time.
COMPANY AND MANAGEMENT
Here you will give all the details about your company; date it was founded, the state it was registered and when, ownership….. Everything about your company.
You will also give details of your managerial team, everything that the public should know about them (like a resume) and your company organogram, including the functions of all the team members.
This is where you highlight the money you need to launch the business, bringing into view your projected profit and loss and cash flow tables.
Give details of the assumptions you made in your projection, and also include your balance sheets, sales forecast, business ratios and a break even analysis.
Writing a business plan is not as difficult as you think, you might not get it right the first time but it sure will boost your confidence to try again…… Give it a try and see how good you are.