We are often been asked by newbies in entrepreneurship whether there is a need to have a business plan. My answer most of the time is a counter-question. Imagine yourself playing a football match without goalposts. Would you be interested in playing such a football match? If not, read this article to write a plan document for your upcoming business in the correct way.
What is a Business Plan?
A business plan is essentially a document where you will be providing details about your business activities, mission, and vision, and information regarding how you plan to achieve the desired goals. Before writing a plan document for your business it is extremely important to know about some mandatory sections.
A properly documented business plan must have 8 essential chapters. They are the following:
- Executive Summary
- Company Details
- Market Analysis
- Products & Services
- Marketing Plan
- Organizational Structure
- Operational Plan
- Financial Plan & Budget
Why Business Plan is Important?
A Business plan is extremely critical to your success in business. It is always exciting to start and run a business venture. However, the road is also full of stress and obstacles. To reduce the confusion and stress in your business journey, the first thing to be done is to write a plan for your venture.
When done correctly and thoroughly, that document can not only put you on track to proper growth and healthy strategies, but it can also be the perfect way to introduce your company to potential investors.
Here’s a list of guidelines that will help you craft the right plan for your organization. Keep in mind: All businesses are unique and have their own specific challenges that must be met. But, if you stick with these characteristics, you will already be way ahead of where you started.
Remember These 4 Steps While Writing a Business Plan
1. Keep it Short and Simple
Be straightforward. You don’t need to fill pages with stuff you’ve ever wanted in your business.
“People think that a business plan needs to be a multi-page document that’s poetic in nature, and that’s not the case,” says Barbara Findlay Schenck, author of Business Plans Kit For Dummies.
She continues “What you need to have is a piece of paper that details the main things that will keep your business on course.”
2. Mention the Most Important Aspects of Your Business
In her book, Schenck emphasizes one must include aspects to make the plan a useful document in starting and running your business: Find below the list:
- Write about your business.
- Provide a detailed description of your product or service.
- Write a competitive environment for the product of your business.
- Mention in detail how you are planning to market your business.
- Write how the business will make money through the business model you have designed.
- Elaborate about how you’re going to produce the product.
- Write the management team, whether it’s you or a small team.
- Provide information on the financial projection, including how much money you need and how much money you will profit.
Most of the people who aspire to start a business might already know all these. However often seen these characteristics are often seen missing from their plan document.
“It’s amazing how many businesses start without that knowledge and fail without that knowledge,” Schenck says.
3. Write with Clarity the Unique Selling Points
It’s extremely important for startup newbies to think about the purpose of the business, what exactly they’re selling, who their target audience is, and how it will make money. Schenck says understanding the nature of the business is critical in creating an effective business plan document.
Those are questions that need to be answered right on paper, although Schenck asserts many businesses can’t answer them right away.“These questions can be answered on the back of a napkin for all I care, but when you’ve answered them, you’re in business.”
Schenck continues “Those questions answer what you’re doing, who you’re doing it for, how you’re doing it, and how you’re going to make money doing it.”
4. Take Help from Online Business Plan Writing Software
There are many reputed online platforms that can help you in documenting business plans. You can create your plan document by providing inputs as instructed in the software.
If you are starting from scratch and know little about writing plan documents, this planning software can come in handy. You can check our list of some of the popular software and free templates providing platforms for writing a plan document.
Remember, your business is unique and deserves the utmost care when crafting a plan for success. Making a fair assessment of your requirements and planning and thereby writing a business plan accordingly will ensure that your plan is stable enough to get you off to a flying start
About the Author: 99businessideas.com led by Rupak Chakrabarty is committed to helping beginners, entrepreneurs, and small business owners in starting, managing, and growing their business. Our aim is to educate the entrepreneur on the various stages of entrepreneurship.