A Guide to Make a Business Plan That Really Works
Making a business plan before
starting a business is the most important task. Business plans show the future
picture of the business. A business plan is the written document formally
created to show information about a business. It is also called a formal
statement of the business goals. The most general elements found in most the
business plans include business objectives, marketing, sales and financial
It is important to understand business planning to make a productive and effective business plan. If you want to make a business plan like a project plan, financial plan or any other kind of plan, we have many business plan samples and templates available on this page to be downloaded. Choose any of these and use as a guide to make a business plan.
What is a Business Plan?
Businesses need to plan the direction and goals of the business thoroughly. To do this properly, a business plan is required since it is a guide for the businesses to set a clear objective and direction. It consists of numerous methods and strategies essential for the business growth. A business plan helps small and large scale businesses in their planning phase. A business plan is a formal document also used to pitch potential investors, vendors and for loan applications. In addition, business plan creation is easier as you can find a number of samples available to download that can be used as a reference. In this article, you can find various business plan templates to help you create and format your business plan.
Importance of Business Plan
Operating a business is difficult especially if you are a big organization or company. There are different kinds of business plans as per the nature of the business. The following points show why a business plan is essential to have.
- A business plan outlines the business objectives and goals as well as the steps and important actions required to achieve those goals.
- Since businesses keep launching new offerings or projects, a business plan plays an important role in brainstorming and planning new products or services for different markets.
- A business plan helps track the progress of different projects of the business and suggests improvements.
- A business plan lets you understand your target markets, your competitors and their products and services. This helps you improve your offerings to capture more customers or clients.
- Having a business plan makes it easier to manage your finance and cash flow to ensure smooth operation of the business.
Creating a business plan that really works
An effective and nicely formatted business plan brings a number of benefits. Before you start making a business plan, you are required to understand the important steps. Following points show the steps to develop your business plan.
- Prepare all data and information needed before staring a business plan.
- Know your business, its nature, operations, finances, markets, industry and offerings.
- Know the purpose of developing a business plan.
- Know your target market for whom you are creating a business plan so that you can better tune your business plan as per your audience.
- Once you have all the required information in hand, you can start writing a business plan.
- First, make a complete outline of the plan. Here you can download various business samples and templates.
- Draft an executive summary of the plan, which entails an overview of the business, its objectives, offerings and relevant information.
- Now, create a short business overview statement including your business background, mission, vision and direction or objective of the business.
- Now create a detailed list of your products and services with benefits and features of each. Also mention how your offerings are better than your competitors.
- Include marketing strategy, consisting of the methods your business will use to market the products or services. Mention target market, your competitors and unique selling purpose of your offerings.
- Include your financial plan, consisting of income statements, cash flows and balance sheets.
Tips to Make the best business plan
- Before making a business plan, always research about the competitors so that you can understand their strengths and weaknesses and improve your offerings.
- Know your audience to make the document suitable to them.
- Attach supporting documents and statement based on facts, especially for the financial summary section.
- Mention the goals as per the SMART Goals concept. Know your resources in-hand while writing a business plan.
- Keep the perspective of your target market in mind while making a business plan and include elements that are of interest to your target market.
- Make sure your management team is professional to have high team’s competency.
- Always make a draft first and then proofread several times to ensure it is free of mistake and errors.
- Avoid long documents as readers usually prefer short and concise documents.
- Format the business plan in an organized way.
- Take help of a well-crafted or well-formatted business plan template to make the process easier.
The Essential Elements to be Included in Business Plan
While the elements in a business plan depends on the nature of the business and industry, more or less, the following elements are used in most of the plans.
- Executive Summary
It contains the summary of the entire business plan.
- Business Description
This section defines your offerings, description about your company, goals, and status of the business.
- Products & Services
Here you list down the products and services your business offers. It is important to make readers know how your offerings are superior than those of your competitors.
- Sales & Marketing
This section includes information about your business’s sales and marketing methods. Here you include your branding, marketing and advertising plans along with the media options to be used like TV ads, newspapers, social media or radio ads.
This defines the day to day operations of your business, including information about your business location, the machinery you use, suppliers, overhead expenses and company policies.
- Management Team
Here you mention the founders and management of the business, along with organization structure and designations of management people.
It defines your company vision, company growth and future expectations.
- Financial Summary
This is one of the most important sections containing information about your company investments, financial status, assets and financial statements.