Business plans are essential whether you’re just starting out and need funding, or you’re wanting to expand your company and generate funds. Indeed, a business plan is not only necessary if you want others to invest in your idea, but it can also help you express what you want to achieve with your firm – your vision, goals, and values – and track its growth trajectory.
A business plan, however, must simply be a bulleted list of an entrepreneur’s musings, hopes, and goals in order to be successful. It must be a serious business document that includes the six aspects listed below.
1. Executive summary
Your business plan executive summary example serves as its “elevator pitch.” Getting a new investor almost always depends on hooking them with a compelling elevator presentation. Your company strategy, no matter how thoroughly researched or presented, may not stand out sufficiently if it fails to capture their interest.
In a few sentences, outline the “issue you’ll address” and why it needs to be solved right now in the executive summary. You will have a difficult time convincing investors to support your project and people to join your team if you are unable to express that deeper purpose to others.
2. Your leadership team’s Description and Bio
The entrepreneur should be able to show exactly what they bring to this venture, whether it’s an idea, technical expertise, or enthusiasm. Investors want to know how you’ll use your personal strength to perform.
It should be highlighted if the leadership team has a track record of establishing and delivering enterprises. Business plans serve a variety of reasons, one of which is to develop confidence, and to potential investors and partners, the team is just as important as the product.
3. Product or Service Description
It’s critical to properly explain the demand your product or service is attempting to fill when writing a business strategy. Your business strategy should explain how the product or service will meet the requirement. What makes your product distinctive, and why would it be tough to duplicate? You should do this by outlining key differentiation, features, and why the product or service is unique in the market.
4. Market Analysis
A portion of every business strategy should specify the target sales market – who you’re selling to. This section necessitates extensive study into areas such as industry sales data for the service or product you’re marketing, as well as industry trends. Examine your competitors’ target markets, as well as your current customer base, to develop a profile of an ideal customer or client for your product.
“You must be able to provide real data and information that supports the premise that your demography is strong and increasing, and that market trends support the continuous need for your service or product offering for a business plan to be effective and appealing to investors and partners.”
Make sure the plan specifies how much initial capital will be required, where it will come from, and how it will be repaid in great detail. Consider your source of income just as much as you consider where you get your money. Investors want to know when they may expect to see a profit. One of the most common causes for new firms failing is a failure to plan appropriately for raising capital and payback.
You must have your numbers correct whether you’re trying to get money for a brick-and-mortar store or a technology startup.
6. Marketing Plan
It’s vital to have a strategy in place for how you’ll spend your marketing budget. Examine several possibilities (paid search, salespeople, fliers, social media, and so on) as well as the accompanying ROI.
The strategy and costs for sales and advertising, as well as customer acquisition costs, should be included in the plan. Be conservative here because if you overachieve, you will seem wonderful, but if you underachieve, you will lose investor confidence.
An Easy-To-Read Business Plan Is A Successful One
Make your company strategy simple to read and understand. There’s nothing more intimidating than receiving a 30-page all-text business plans. Include product and user photographs, team portraits, colorful headlines, financial graphs, charts, tables, and anything else that will make reading more enjoyable for your possible investors. Even bullet points can be useful.
Finally, before you make your strategy public. Have it reviewed by trusted mentors and expert peers, and get their input. It’s critical to have someone analyze your business strategy [before you show it to investors].
Check out business plan examples to further understand the details of the business plan.