Entrepreneurs often ask what a business plan is and why they should create one. They ask us: “What is needed for a business plan? and “How do I create my business plan?”
A good plan can serve as a road map, ensuring that you don’t go astray. Business plans are the foundation on which you build your business and without them you end up being lost in the woods.
Don’t worry, we’ve made it easy for you! Here’s the full process and a checklist for your business plan.
1. Summary: the executive summary condenses the key points from the rest of your business plan into a short introductory section. Necessary parts of an executive summary include mission statement, company information such as name, headquarters, founders, team, etc. Next, explain your products and services. Also add the financial information such as funding sources, investor information. Also add the company’s future projections.
Bonus: keep projection data driven and concrete to create impact.
2. Business and Industry Overview – This section usually includes the description of your market sector and industry along with its financial statistics. Include a basic competitor analysis and overview of how you see your business outperforming potential rivals and how you will improve existing services or products.
Bonus: include your SWOT analysis.
3. Market Analysis – A market analysis is a more detailed examination of your company’s business model and how you fit into the competitive environment of your industry and market. A market analysis should contain exact details about your target market, such as location, demographics, customer base, etc. Your data on your market size and activity, how much customers are spending, growth prospects, underserved parts of the market. Include business barriers and limitations that could isolate your business from the competition. Finally, competitor analysis, market share of your main competitors, strengths, weaknesses and obstacles they present to you. Estimate your projected sales against your competitors. Often this comes in the form of a table with sales figures listed for you and your competitors.
4. Sales and Marketing Plan – The sales and marketing section of the business plan outlines your strategy for increasing your market share and customer base. It includes information about what you sell, your intellectual property, how your products meet your customers’ needs, your competitive advantage, and the specific innovation or unique service your company will bring to the market (also known as the value proposition ). What is your marketing strategy, advertising plans, what channels and platforms you will use for promotions. What will your business strategy be? Also include a description of your sales force and marketing team members, how your supply chain is organized and will operate.
5. Operating Plan – The operating plan should include production information How you make the things you sell, how long it takes, details of the development and manufacturing process. Facilities and maintenance, detailed breakdown of management and employees, equipment costs, supply details such as materials, suppliers, inventory management, etc. Finally, research and development, intellectual property, timing of new products or services and prospects for innovation.
6. Financial plan – A financial plan should include income statements, your income, expenses, and expected income over multiple quarters or years. Cash flow projections, balance sheet, contingent debt, and break-even analysis explaining the level of sales you need to generate to cover all your fixed and variable costs.
A business plan will define your goals and objectives and help you plan an action plan. We can help you create a business plan with the right vision for your business.