A successful business is one that’s built around a solid business plan. It’s the architecture you base your business on, and a tool that’s always in use to make sure you’re on track.
A business plan is also something that you’ll be required to share with your bank. For them to lend you money, they’re going to want to see that you have a clear vision, goals and objectives.
Before you begin to write your business plan, make sure you have a clear business strategy in place. In other words, what do you hope to achieve? What are your goals? What’s the purpose of your business?
Everything contained in your business plan will revolve around and support your business strategy. Once this is clear, begin your business plan with the following:
These two elements set the stage for the remainder of your business plan.
This is where we get into the basic, fundamental aspects of your business plan. Outline what your business does, and detail how you’re planning to achieve your goals and objectives.
Your business plan must be easy to follow and engaging to read. When it comes to presenting it to your bank, it should grab their interest straightaway.
While all business plans differ depending on the nature of the business and their objectives, there are some basic sections that you should include.
Aim to describe your business in detail in this section. It’s important to include your:
Provide details about your products or services. Explain how they’re different or superior to your potential competitors’ products or services, and the benefits they offer. You should also include details like:
Not only is your bank going to want to know that you’ve got a strategy to effectively market your business, but it’s something that you should continually refer to. Try to always be thinking about ways to market your business.
It’s important to do your due diligence here, and make sure this section covers:
Your bank is going to be interested in all the components of your business plan, but this is the section they’ll focus on the most. It should explain how your business will generate revenue.
Detail your start-up costs and describe key assumptions behind your financial projections. It’s important to include:
Once your business plan is written, keep it close at hand. Review it regularly so you know you’re staying on target with your goals. Update it when necessary.
Be careful not to make the mistake of ignoring it once your business is through its start-up phase. Revising and updating your plan will keep it relevant – and make it a roadmap for your business.