How to write a business plan, the easy way
Regardless of the size of business, a business plan is an essential piece of document that should put in place that acts as a blueprint that driving the company towards achieving its financial goals and objectives. Whether you’re just starting out, or simply expanding and proliferating your business, you should never kick off without a well laid business plan. Let’s look at some simple guide for you to write a business plan:
1. Figure out what the business plan is for
First, figure out what this business plan will be immediately used for.
Business plan is prepared for variety of reasons – getting financial help, roping partners in, studying the feasibility of operation, profiling the organization, projecting financial goals, assessing your marketing plan, so on and so forth. Depending on the reason, the business plan may be tweaked to suit to its prevailing requirements. Find your reason, and validate it.
Getting funding from financial institutions may require you to write your plan slightly differently, because each venture capitalist and bank has their own way to look at your business plan in making their decision. Usually, a business plan is produced in the form of Word document or binding report, but some banks want you to combine presentation format (e.g. Power Point) with Word document. Find out from them how things would work in other to present your business plan.
2. Scour for samples
There are countless numbers of business plan samples around you can get for free or pay for them. Just search through the popular online search engines and you will find a limitless number of samples available for download. The more the merrier, and the more the better. Also, do not be too stingy to spend a few dollars on books or CDs that teach you how to prepare your business plan correctly. Remember, your business might be needing a capital amounting up to 50 thousand dollars, so spending 20 or 30 dollars will be a worthy investment.
By looking at the samples, you have an idea on how a proper business plan should look like. The more you look, you will begin to understand that there is no specific format you should follow as long you include all the essential information in the right place.
3. Do first things first
More often than not, the numbers – revenue projection, profit, break even analysis and so on should get the priority. In fact, this is what your banker will jump to first when they receive your business plan. Regardless how good your company profile might sound or how good your background is, without a sensible list of financial analysis and projections, then you hope of getting things moving in your business venture may well go down the drain. So pay attention to this aspect first.
4. Back up numbers with sensible research and marketing strategy
Of course, by saying the above, you can’t just pluck in the numbers from the thin air, show them to your banker, and voila, you find yourself cash rich with the bank’s money. Make the necessary due diligence, research and assessment to come up with pretty convincing figures and facts. Get references from reliable sources such as public institutions, government agencies, research houses and others to structure your overall plan.
Also, brainstorm your way how to reach the goals and projections; streamline your marketing plans and methods that would eventually get your business to where it wants to be in, say 5 years from now. Back up your claim that your business can break even in 6 months by showing exactly how you can achieve the targeted milestone. Read and review your marketing plans over and over and move to the next stage only when you made yourself convinced by your own plan. Otherwise, if you’re not yet convinced, do not pass go, do not collect 200. Work your butt up.
5. Whenever necessary, get help
Whatever your predicament is, you’re not in this world on your own. Whenever needed, seek for help, advice and consultation on getting your business plan done. There will be some helping hands right there in the corner. Some financial institutions go the extra mile to conduct talks and courses on how to prepare the business plan tailored to their requirements. Approach those who have successfully prepared their business plan, and humbly ask for a piece of mind.