The key to a successful business is a good business plan. A Business plan is the first step which you take in your business which can either put your entire business on an escalator or an ICU bed. That’s why special attention needs to be given when you’re designing the business plan for your business.
A business plan should be able to clearly provide answers to a list of questions about the business. The most important question which needs to be answered through it is: Where do you want your business to head? Or what do you expect from business in 2, 3 or 6 years down the line?
A business plan is like roadmap which needs to be followed strictly to reach the desired destination, it also keeps in you check as you can track where you’re heading to. A business plan is also required when you’re trying to seek finance for your business.
Now that we know how important a business plan is for our business, let’s move onto the certain points which you need to remember when you’re chalking out the business plan for your business.
1) Research is gold: You will be required to take few important decisions about your business before starting your business plan. These include deciding the structure, finance and marketing strategy for your business and these decisions can only be taken efficiently if the person has proper research at his/her disposal.
2) Know the objective of your plan– You should always be clear about what is the purpose of your plan and whom are you trying to serve through it. Whether the plan will only be used internally or will it also involve some third parties. If some third parties are involved, don’t assume that they’re only interested in the finance part, what they’re really looking for is a complete package.
3) Don’t try to be a superman or superwoman by trying to finish the plan from start to finish in one go– You will be first required to select the sections which are most relevant to your business from the ones which don’t apply to your business at all. If you think, you’re not competent or confident enough to complete the task at hand, they you shouldn’t ever take a chance, consult a professional help as soon as possible.
4) The Future figures- If you’re writing a business plan for a business which is just about to take off, then you should clearly state the expected figures of finance and takeover for your business in the plan.
5) Keep your Summary the last and the best– As the famous saying goes “Keep the best for the last”. Summaries are very crucial to your plan and special attention needs to be given to it so that you don’t end up over doing it.
6) Reviewing everything is the rule– Your Business plan can either make or break your business, so reviewing it again and again will only help you screen out errors and mistakes. Errors in a business plan can act as a dent on your professional image.
After we’re done with the important rules that need to be kept in mind while writing a business plan, les’s now move on to the all things that need to be included in a business plan.
1) An overview about your business-This is famously called as the operational or management plan. It includes extensive details about what your business is all about. It gives an overview about your business’s products/ services, marketing strategy, finance, structure, location, staff and premises etc.
2) Title/Main page– The title page basically clearly states what the plan is for. It also includes the all the general information about your business.
3) Business Summary– This is a small one page overview about what your entire business plan really is. It includes all the important points that you were trying to make while writing the entire plan.
4) Devise a Marketing Plan-The marketing plan should include the complete marketing analysis of the industry which you are just about to enter. It should also have complete info about your competitors and customers. This section should most importantly include your key marketing plans and strategies which you will deploy for the fulfillment your company’s targets.
5) Be Careful with Finances– The financial section of your business plan should include details like how you plan to finance your business, whether you’re looking at external funding and if yes, in which areas will these funds be invested. It should also cover details like projected profits and revenue over the period of next one year or five years.
6) Future Plans– This section of the plan deals with the plans for future. It can include the business goals or some key business milestone that need to be achieved.
7) Important Documentation– You should not forget to list all your attachments for referral under this heading of your business plan. These include financial tables, resumes, maps or copies of emergency procedures.
A business plan needs constant attention as business planning is an ongoing activity. So, keeping reviewing and making changes to your plan in accordance to the changes in your business.