It seems like there are one thousand steps been having a business idea and running an operational business. Business planning is important for arranging and organising these steps.
When it comes to writing your first business plan, it is often unclear what you should include and what you should leave out. This blog is a general guide of what should be included, follow the structure below and you are taking the first step to success.
The Executive Summary is the business plan’s answer to an introduction. It is the overall outline of the business plan and it should follow the title page.
It is important that you outline what you want from the reader during the executive summary. The mistake that many authors make is that they leave it until page seven or eight until they declare what they require and by then it is already too late.
This is a fairly easy concept to understand. Simply, the business description is a short paragraph that outlines the industry. This is an opportunity for the author to discuss the past, present, and future of the business.
This paragraph should also tell the reader about the various markets within the industry. Tell the reader about any new products that could potentially but your business at risk. Also, discuss any new developments may also that will enhance its chance of success.
Before going ahead with your business plan you should complete analysis of the market. During this stage, it will allow the author to familiarise themselves the aspects involved in the particular market.
This section will allow you to state who your target market is how you would market your product or service to that target market.
The competitor analysis is one of the most important aspects of the business plan as it will determine the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors within your market. Your competitor analysis should be relevant and should highlight and any weaknesses in your business plan that could be exploited during the product development cycle.
DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT
This section requires you to inform with a description of the product’s design. This section should be broken down into development, marketing, and budget. The product is your end goal; therefore, you should describe how you are going to get there.
This section of the plan should outline how your business will function continually. This is the part that many authors find the hardest because they have not projected that far ahead.
Your operations plan should discuss the logistics of the organisation and the expense requirements related to the operations of the business.
This section is usually found at the back of the business plan. Make sure that your business plan upholds momentum and the sections at the back are just as important as the sections at the front.
The Balance state that: “The financial analysis section of your business plan should contain the data for financing your business now, what will be needed for future growth, and an estimation of your operating expenses.”
WHY DO I NEED A BUSINESS PLAN?
Writing a business plan is extremely beneficial. Not only will it encourage you to review the necessary steps that you will need to take in future, it will outline everything at a glance.
It is important that you include your value proposition, marketing assumptions, operations plan, financial plan and staffing plan within your business plan. These are essential factors of running any business and by evaluating them before the project goes ahead you may spot risks that otherwise would have missed.