A business plan is a compulsory requirement for all would-be entrepreneurs looking to start their own businesses. It is virtually next to impossible to proceed with establishing a business without having a business plan in place. Not only does a good business plan provide potential investors and relevant parties about the potential success of your business, it also provides you with a clear comprehension of the practical application of your business vision and clarifies your own thought process on what shape and form your business should take. To get started with preparing a decent business plan, read through the guidelines below.
Basic and important points to consider. Some of the basics you should consider are: (a) do you need a business plan; (b) which is the right plan for you; (c) how long should the plan be; and (d) what are the different types of plans? To answer the first question unequivocally, yes! Anyone looking to start up a new venture or anyone looking to expand or upgrade his or her existing business needs to have a business plan in place. Choosing the right type of business plans for your needs is the first step to success. A basic business plan should contain details on raising finance, cost and income projections, marketing and advertising details, human resources requirements, P&L analysis, etc. A business plan should contain as much information as is necessary to convey the solidity and attractiveness of your business idea, so the length will usually depend on how all the necessary and relevant information is covered. The different types of business plans are short/mini-plans, presentations, working plans and electronic plans.
Important sections and key components of a business plan. Every business plan must have three mandatory sections around which it is structured – business concept, marketplace analysis and the financial section. Expanding further on these three sections, the must-have key requisites of any business plan are – an executive summary; description of the business; strategies for the market; an analysis of the current competition; a creation and development plan; a plan for the general operations and management of the business and relevant financial factors and information.
How to use your business plan. Like any other proposal or venture, you should consider the objectives for making your plan. Take into consideration, both short and long term objectives, how you see your business progressing year on year. Prepare a checklist of all your goals to get started, what is your financial position and how you plan to secure additional financing, what will this entail in terms of your control over the business, and most importantly what is the main purpose of your business plan – finance or human resources and infrastructure or getting in the necessary supplies to run the business. Test your assumptions and objectives in a practical setting; assess the potential of your company. If your business plan is able to clarify, quantitatively and qualitatively, then you can be most assured that the business venture is guaranteed to succeed.
Looking for help with the business plan. It could be that you may not be able to achieve all of the above as a solo endeavor, if you’re convinced about the feasibility of the plan, get help by way of hiring a business consultant (if you can afford it), or consider getting assistance from you own research, online or in real time, the chambers of commerce in your city or town, or local organizations which offer advice on a non-profit basis. Network with your peers and people who’ve been through similar exercises and take not of what worked or didn’t for them.
Now that you’re in a position to understand the basic relevance and importance of having a business plan, get started immediately on scripting your future success.