If you’ve ever jotted down your ideas and task list on business the back of a napkin before, you’ve already written a business plan — or at least the most basic form of it. A well-thought-out plan details the strategies that business owners intend to follow in order to move forward in a highly competitive industry. But to convince recipients to fund a business venture, your business plan must hit all the right marks to fuel a favorable decision. What Is a Business Plan?
The simplest way to define a business plan is that it’s a blueprint for your company’s future. It provides an overview of your operational and financial objectives to get your business to where you want it to be. But business plans aren’t only for startups and small-scale enterprises, as companies that wish to expand or pursue a new venture may use the plan to determine if their ideas are viable. Not only does it breed confidence in business owners, but it cultivates trust among lenders as well. Detailed business plans prove that you’re knowledgeable and serious about what you’re about to embark on to earn a lender’s approval.
“Companies that plan grow 30% faster than those that don’t plan.” (Source: Bplans)
“71 percent of fast-growing companies have business plans.” (Source: Bplans)
“The most successful entrepreneurs were those that wrote their business plan between 6 and 12 months after deciding to start a business, increasing the probability of venture viability success by 8%.” (Source: Harvard Business Review)
Although these plans are created at the initial stages of the undertaking, they still need to be reviewed from time to time. It’s important to update your business plan periodically to make the necessary changes as the company continues to evolve. Keep in mind that the objectives that were set two years ago may not be as relevant to the current state of your business. Types of Business Plans
Business plans guide owners, managers, and investors in their path toward success. They help clarify the different aspects of a business to help the management make data-driven decisions for any opportunities or shortcomings that arise. But the common misconception about a business plan is that you’ll only ever need one to suit all your business needs. The truth is, companies and organizations often need new and different types of business plans as they continue to grow in the industry.
Startup Business Plan: One reason why people write business plans is to find out if their business ideas are any good. Testing your ideas beforehand will spare you the trouble and expense from entering the scene blindfolded. A startup business plan details the steps to launch the new enterprise for potential investors to be made aware of your income, profit, and cash flow projections. If found viable, you can then invest your time and resources to writing a full-scale business plan. Internal Business Plan: These are business plans that target an audience from within the organization. This document describes the current state of the company and whether the business would need to repay any capital used to develop a project. Internal business plans also provide useful information on a project marketing plan, hiring, and tech costs to keep the company on top of its finances. Strategic Business Plan: A strategic business plan presents a high-level view of the company’s goals to help lay out a foundational plan for the entire company and its leaders. This approach will keep employees focused and determined as they work together to achieve the company’s overall goals. Though it’s likely to vary from business to business, most strategic plans include the company’s vision and mission statements, milestones, goal-oriented strategies, and implementation schedule. Feasibility Business Plan: Is there a significant need for what you are proposing? A feasible business plan identifies who the product or service will benefit, and if the venture can generate a profit. It typically defines the need for the product or service, the sasaran audience, and the required capital to move forward with the idea. Operations Business Plan: This is a plan that concerns the company’s day-to-day operations. It outlines the steps you’ll take to fulfill the company’s mission by identifying employee responsibilities, implementation markers, and deadlines for the coming months. Similar to internal plans, operations business plans are limited to a specific area of the organization. It can be in the form of single-use plans or ongoing plans, depending on what the company intends to do with it. Growth Business Plan: For businesses that want to branch out to new markets, growth business plans are written for your internal and external requirements. Plans like these generally cover all company details that will satisfy potential investors. This includes, but is not limited to, a description of expansion opportunities, financial goals, and staffing needs and responsibilities. It enables businesses to be more efficient in rencana their growth strategies and tracking opportunities for better revenue. It can also come in the form of a business continuity plan to express your desires to expand operations. How to Write a Business Plan
Every business needs to have a written plan in place if it wants to flourish in the industry it is in. Whether it’s to draw new customers or provide your team with direction, a business plan plays a vital role in the success of your organization. However, getting started is probably the most difficult part. It’s important to know how to write an effective business plan to make sure it speaks volumes with your target audience.
Step 1: Conduct extensive research on the subject.
To write the perfect business plan, you need to have a good understanding of your company, your product, your market, and your competitors. Experts even suggest spending more time researching, evaluating, and studying as opposed to actually writing your ideas on paper. It’s your responsibility to gather as much information as you can about the business and industry you are entering to steer clear of loopholes that could have been avoided.
Step dua: Determine your purpose.
A business plan can serve several different purposes, depending on what you aim to accomplish. One way to meet the objectives of your business plan is to keep it targeted. If you want to attract investors to support your business ideas, you need to write a plan that expresses these intentions. Defining your exact purpose will make it easy for you to tailor your content according to how you expect readers to respond.
Step 3: Create a company profile.
Your company profile pertains to the history of the organization, the products or services that are offered, the targeted audience, the persoalan to be solved, and the unique selling proposition that differentiates the business from its competitors. You can find most of this information on the About page of a website, as it intends to attract prospective customers and talents to the company. In a business plan, your profile introduces your organization to investors and clients in a way that puts you under a good light. People want to associate themselves with entities that they could trust, your profile does just that by building integrity through words.
Step 4: Have a marketing plan in place.
A simple business plan always comes with a strategic and aggressive marketing plan. After all, it would be impossible for your company to generate a return on investment without proper marketing to create conversions. It should focus on the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of your marketing tactics to discover what’s practical and what’s not. Meeting your marketing objectives will eventually garner promising outcomes for your overall business goals.
Step lima: Adapt to your audience.
Business plans usually cater to a diverse audience. But even then, note that each type of reader does have a specific interest that they look for in a plan. If you’re familiar with these interests, you can take them into account when writing a business plan for that particular audience. The best business plans are made flexible enough to adapt to their readers. It is often kept simple with the limited use of technical slogan to ensure that ideas are communicated effectively for one to grasp.
Even though business plans carry a professional tone for formality reasons, it doesn’t mean you can’t evoke an emotional response from your readers. The only way to connect with your audience is if you learn to put their best interests in mind. Your plans need to show that you care about meeting certain goals and that you’re dedicated to pursuing them. That way, investors, customers, and employees get a better view of the problems you’re trying to solve, the values you uphold, and the distinctive features that make you stand out from the competition. The Dos and Don’ts of a Business Plan