Are you a small business owner? Do you want to learn how to write a business plan for a small business? Do you want to grow your small scale business? If you your answer is yes, then you just need to grab a cup of coffee and continue reading as you sip your coffee. Every business start-up needs a business plan and before we proceed any further, let us look at the meaning of a business plan
A business plan refers to a written document that comprehensively outlines what your business is, where it is going, and how it will get there. The business plan outlines in specific terms the financial objectives of your business, and how it will position itself to achieve those goals in the context of the current market environment. In addition, the business plan is an indispensable tool to attract business capital.
Before you start writing your business plan, you need to determine the type of business plan you will use. Use a business plan that will describe your business purpose, objective, structure, analysis of the marketplace, and creating cash flow projections. So to start writing your business plan you need to follow these steps.
The first step is to write the Executive Summary. The executive summary is what gives an official overview of your business. It is a summary of everything you will say about your business. In this section you are expected to spell out the content and goals of your plan. This section is very important if you are seeking outside funding as it introduces possible investors to your business. Be sure to include background about your company, the market opportunity, your capital requirements, a mission statement, an overview of management, competitors, your business competitive advantage and a summary of your financial projections over the next five years. Your executive summary will serve as an introduction to your business plan. It will include your company’s mission statement and provide readers with an overview of your products or services, target market, and goals and objectives. Remember to place this section at the beginning of your document.
The second step is to write your Company Description. To do this, you need to describe your business and identify the marketplace needs for your product or service. Briefly describe your key customers and how you intend to succeed.
The third step is to write your Market Analysis. The purpose of this section is explored and demonstrates knowledge of the market your business is operating within. You have to include information about your target market. You should be able to answer questions like, who is your target market? What are their needs and preferences? How old are they? And where are they located? Make sure to include a competitive analysis that provides research and information on immediate competitors. List your main competitors strengths and weaknesses and their potential impact on your business. This section is extremely important, as it outlines how your business will gain market share by capitalizing on competitor’s weaknesses.
The fourth step is to describe your Company’s Organizational Structure and Management. This section of the business plan focuses on key personnel. You have to include details about the business owners and its management team. You are expected to talk about your team’s expertise and how decisions will be made. If the owners and managers have extensive backgrounds in the industry or a track record of success, highlight it. If you have an organizational chart, you also need to include it.
The fifth step is to describe your Product or Service. What are you selling? What is so great about your product or service? How will customers benefit? How is it better than your competitor’s products or services? You have to address any questions about your product’s life cycle. Do you currently have or anticipate developing a prototype, or filing for a patent or copyright? You have to write down all your planned activities.
The sixth step is to write your Marketing and Sales Strategy. In this section, you need to explain how you intend to penetrate the market, manage growth, communicate with customers, and distribute your products or services. You have to be clear in defining your sales strategy. You have to state in your business proposal if you will use sales representatives, billboard advertising, pamphlet distribution, social media marketing, or all of the above in promoting your business.
The seventh step is to make a Funding Request. If you will use your business plan to secure funding, include a funding request. Explain how much money you need to start and maintain your small business. Provide an itemized summary of how start-up capital will be used. Give a timeline for your funding request.
The eighth step is to include an Appendix. This is the very last section and it is meant to provide additional information. You have to know that potential investors might want to see this information before making a decision. The documents you include here should support claims made in other sections of the business plan. This should include financial statements, credit reports, business licenses or permits, legal documents and contracts, to demonstrate to investors that revenue forecasts are secured by concrete business relationships.
The Ninth step is to revise and edit your business plan. In this section you have to review your business plan for spelling and grammatical errors. Do this several times before deciding on the final version. You are advised to make a copy and give it to a trusted friend or colleague to proofread and provide feedback.
The tenth and final step is to create a cover page. The cover page identifies your document and gives it aesthetic appeal and professionalism. It also helps your document to stand out. Your cover page should include: The words “Business Plan” which should be at the centered in large bold font, along with your company name, company logo, and contact information.
Wow guys we are done. With this information I sincerely believe you have learned how to write a business plan for a small business.
If you have other procedure on how to write a business plan for a small business so as to attract investors and get your business funded, your comments is highly appreciated. If you love this post please take few minutes and share it to your social media accounts.