So far, we’ve explored the ways you can establish your brand within a market, how to reach out to customers and become more efficient in what you do. But, before all that lies a general practice, a purpose, your compass if you will.
Clearly, you have discovered your true vocation and you are already in pursuit of your dreams but all this is just day-dreaming without a clear path, outlined in your business plan.
And, as you may have guessed, you need one too. The benefits of a business plan are numerous with customer and employee engagement being on top. Moreover, in case you seek potential funding, investors care a lot about your planning because it shows how well run the business will be and how seriously you take whatever it is you are doing.
Writing a business plan can be tricky. How do you write a detailed and full business plan? What does a business plan consist of? We, too, have been there. Trying to come up with strategies and complicated estimations, but you‘ll know this is worth your while after you see your goals being achieved one by one. It can be long and a daunting-to-write process, regardless of the venture. That said, below you can find an outline with the 5 key elements your business plan should include.
Everyone who reads your business plan needs an overview of who you are, what your purpose is and how you are going to achieve it. After all, a concept is one of the most important contents of your business plan.
The concept part is ideal for doing just that and you want to break it down into three smaller ones: executive summary, company description, and products/services.
The executive summary is a brief description of the person who runs the business and what the business has to offer. Following, you need to go with the company description where you provide information about the company structure if there is one. Also, briefly mention your short-term and long-term goals. Finally, the products and services section is all about differentiation. There you get to expand a little on your unique strengths and features.
2. Market Analysis
To be a successful entrepreneur is to have a full understanding of your industry.
This is a comprehensive analysis of the market’s dynamics where the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of your company can be identified and used in your favor.
There you need to determine your audience from a demographic perspective so as to better target their needs and requirements. Moreover, the marketing analysis is used to inform readers about a firm’s planning activities, particularly concerning decisions of inventory, purchase of capital equipment, marketing activities, and many other aspects. The more you expand on this evaluation of the terrain, the more concrete your strategy will become. A good research and market analysis can make your business plan great and simple to understand.
We are aware that building a strategy beforehand can be difficult but it is essential in your endeavor to attract investors.
They need to know all the “whys” and “hows” involving your products and services so they can have a clear view on what their money will return. The sustainability of your business is a matter, as well. Do you have any moves planned for the next semester? What your business will look like a year from now?
These are important questions that need to be answered to attract customers as well. In most cases, customers will respond positively to something new that covers needs they didn’t know they had up until that point. Having a strategy gives you the comparative advantage of being one step ahead.
4. Organization summary
This section describes in more detail the way you operate and can provide a projection once a certain amount of revenues is reached.
Especially if you are trying to receive an amount of funding, this item will let potential funders see how your business will grow due to it. Be sure to keep things simple and give some extra thought on how you would like to operate ideally. Then try to act on it!
5. Financial analysis
All the above-mentioned items are paving the way for this one. Some may skip the whole thing just to get to the bottom of your business plan. When you set up a full business plan you should include a comprehensive financial report and forecast.
The financial analysis is of utmost importance for startups trying to convince prospective investors to fund their innovative ideas.
In case you are a new entrepreneur, hence got no data to show for, you can illustrate your budget allocation in a five-year period based on anticipated growth. The more charts here the better. You need to show you know your way around with numbers; therefore you have done your industry research.
Your business plan is your guide and your company brochure at the same time. You need to figure it out in advance and really think it through before you let anyone read it. You get to present to the world your company’s objectives and strategy. From potential customers to interested investors it has to have consistency and cohesion. In simple terms, to make sense and be well-written. Once you establish these elements all you need to do is study your industry and analyze the respective data to obtain financial reports. Your clients, investors, and employees need to envision your firm the way you do.
What better way to do this than to provide them with a 5 years business plan proposal.
The rest is simply history.