Communicating and writing down a business plan for any venture you’re looking to go into can be a great way of gathering all of the information and data that you need to effectively begin your dream business.
Your idea of success and goal setting for the future will be clarified, but doing this can be easier said than done.
Although a business plan may sound straightforward, there is a lot of detail that goes into it to ensure that your business can grow exponentially, at a steady rate.
Firstly, we believe that you need to understand the meaning and crucial nature of manufacturing the perfect business plan, as we thrive to help all businesses research their core strategy before going into it blind-sighted. Carry on reading to learn more about the topic of business plans.
What Are Business Plans?
Whether you prefer to write online or are more for the traditional business plan of ‘jotting down’, this will be an internal business document containing all of your goals and ideas.
For example, you may want to write ideas about products and services you want to sell within your new startup business.
Or, on the flip side, you may be an existing and established business looking to seriously improve after some unfortunate plateaus and need some fresh ideas.
Some other factors that go into business plans include how the business will earn (or is earning), financial planning, staff members, and many more.
Although you may think an idea is all you need to get started, if you want the very best chance of beginner success – having all your strategies lined out with targets to meet is the most productive/ fastest way to success.
Having this business plan template set out will help you determine the unknown information and help you spot the potential mistakes that may be made (or have already been made).
Consequently, putting this into place will speed up the procedure and give you the resources needed to create a successful business this year with limited mistakes.
If you’re the business owner or have someone by your side who knows the ins and outs of the business’ vision, it may be worth giving them a business plan executive role (while overseeing it) to give you a chance to still work effectively on your business.
Or, if you want full control, it is worth doing it on your own, with your solid vision being the main goal of the business plan.
Why Should You Write a Business Plan as an Aspiring (or Experienced) Business Owner?
When looking forward to the future, whether you’ve only had a business idea so far or you’re now a small business, mid, or large business with limited staff or staff in abundance, one of the main goals will be to persuade people to believe in your business’s vision.
Having priceless knowledge of how the people within your business work, how the target audience works, and understanding unlimited information surrounding your industry will give you an indestructible aura that people interested in the business will feel.
Another vital component to building a mission statement and business plan is partnerships and collaboration opportunities.
Referrals and social media marketing collaborations in the online space or in person can be some of the most effective selling strategies to bring clients or customers to your business.
Consequently, if you make a great first impression on businesses inside and outside of your niche, they’re bound to recommend you to people who need the product/ service and vice versa.
How to Write Your Own Business Plan
Now that you understand just some of the key elements to writing a business plan and why it can be so crucial to your success, we want to give you some free business plan tips on how you can write your very own.
Here are some of the vital points that you will need to implement in order to produce a successful business plan.
Investing in a Business Coach
Although this isn’t a technical detail of how you will write your business plan, we believe that if you want to reach success as quickly as possible without making the recurring mistakes that are typically made when you’re alone, a business coach can prevent this from happening.
A business coach has been there and done it in the most difficult scenarios and has a CV of business success; therefore, working alongside them and explaining your vision and goals to them will give them a great base to help you create a successful business.
Doing this alone, with no previous knowledge of business failure or success, how to push yourself in times of despair or how to control yourself in times of success is a difficult skill.
A business coach when starting a business will keep you on the straight and narrow and add golden nuggets of information when you need it.
Drafting an Overall Summary/ Describing Your Company
Now that you have the choice between going solo or investing in a business coach to guide you, taking into consideration that you will need to write a summary of your business and describe your company too is paramount.
Inside your summary and description of your company, you should answer common questions that other business owners will want to hear. For example, they will want to know:
- What your business does (executive summary and company description)
- The vision of your business
- What you sell (product lines or services)
- Why they should invest
- Current and expected revenue (financial projections)
- Who is involved in the business
Complete a Market Analysis (SWOT)
After you’ve decided on what your overall summary is of who you are, what you want to achieve, and all the other components that go into your summary, a market analysis is the next step to your business plan.
If you rush into your advertising, marketing, and overall sales of your product and service without knowing who you’re selling to (your target market), it won’t treat you well.
Whereas, if you market to customers and clients who need your service or product and it solves a problem or presents a ‘WOW’ factor like no other, this will create a prolific amount of success.
SWOT is a superlative acronym that divides your market analysis into relevant sections. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats and is a tell for what will and won’t work along your journey.
Strengths: In this section, you will look at what you’re good at or what you believe you will become good at over the course of your business venture.
Weaknesses: An overview of what you’re not great at, should you have problems you know of.
Opportunities: Here, you will look at the current state of the business world and what you could potentially ‘mark your territory’ on (is there a gap in the market, etc).
Threats: Internally or externally, is there anything that worries you in the future or at the current moment in time that will threaten your business’ success?
Doing market research on each of these segments will give you and/or an investor a visual representation of what is to come. Should you have too many issues to address, this may cause concerns from their point of view, and vice versa with the positive outcomes.
Management and Organisational Strategies
Customers and potential investors need to know who is running the company and how the business is going to function in times of triumph… and the opposite. Whether this is from a leadership point of view or a financial structure perspective, organisational traits are key to give you a competitor advantage.
For example, you could use a visual hierarchy for what a person will be doing in situations that will occur; their roles and responsibilities are defined with certainty.
Not only that, but an investor will want to know how you communicate and interact with your staff members—how will you create success together as a unit?
Listing Products or Services
As part of your business plan, you will need to describe each product or service that will be available for purchase by clients and customers.
Going into extreme detail about each one will not be required; however, dropping the essential information within this description will help the reader understand what they’re dealing with.
No matter the size of your product or service list, each one will need an individual breakdown of its key features and benefits.
Highlighting why people will benefit from this and what is in it for them will aid them in their decision to purchase the product or service or invest in your business as a whole.
A small yet important note to remember is to let the reader know where the products are coming from (if you’re a product-selling business). If they don’t know, they could become sceptical about the quality of the product, and that is the last thing you need.
Present Your Target Audience
The ideal customer or client… what every business wants to find immediately. If every person you could reach out to met these criteria, it would be so easy, right? Well, unfortunately, that is not the case as you begin your business.
However, if you can muster up what the ‘ideal customer looks like’ then this will give you a base of where to look. Typically, the characteristics can be answered by specific generic questions, such as:
- Where does your ideal customer live
- The age group you want to target
- Their current work situation
- Their interests and beliefs
- How much they’re earning currently (can they afford your product/service)
Making these decisions as a team will not only broaden everyone’s ideas and knowledge about what they need to achieve within their role, but it will also give the investor a great chance to evaluate whether this looks sustainable and effective.
Your Marketing Strategies
As we know, social media has taken over the baton from the traditional marketing methods of billboards, newspapers, etc.; therefore, adapting to this is paramount.
This section of your business plan will need to delve deeper into the platforms you’re going to use (e.g., what social media platforms do your target audience use the most).
Or, will you use all the social media platforms? Additionally, networking events may be part of your strategy to promote your business as often as possible. Well, if you feel you have the capacity to do this, then that could be an excellent option.
However, evaluating your schedule before making that decision is crucial; knowing this, you can then plan how many hours of the week you will spend on social media and in-person marketing.
Logistics and Plan of Action
If you do not consider the next steps after you’ve created this plan, nothing will get done. It is excellent to write these ideas down, but acting on them ultimately generates success.
For example, if you’re a product-selling business, you will need to find a trusted supplier with great reviews. Not only that, but you need to know if they’ll be able to keep up with you if you become successful.
Or, are you going to be making the product yourself and shipping it out through your facilities? Will you have a designated team to package and send off all your items on demand?
With inventory, will you keep a lot in stock or with your supplier for the most part? These little, yet important, details are what make or break a successful business.
Your Financial Plan
For the last part of your business plan, regardless of how good your product or service is, if you don’t have the money to sustain the running costs and expenditures, it will not last.
Although it is tough to admit, money is the number one factor that keeps our business running smoothly, considering that the main forms of financial planning are key.
Whether you use an income statement, a cash flow statement, or whatever makes sense to you, if you keep a close eye on your ins and outs, you will be on a better path than most.
Knowing when to hold back or to take risks is a brilliant skill to have, and if it is consistently updated, you will always have control of your destiny.
Mark is a multi-award winner in business networking and relationship building. He is passionate about coaching and mentoring business owners and professionals through 1-1 & group coaching, team performance workshops and group mastermind sessions.