A business plan is critical if you aim to open your own business. Here's what you should know about writing a business plan.
A business plan is a document that outlines your business intentions. The plan includes the details of how you are going to achieve those business outcomes.
Most banks require a business plan before they provide loans or investments. This critical template serves as a great guide for how you aim to be successful with your business. And it applies even if you're not aiming for an investment.
Here are some key parts to always include in your business roadmap:
A concise executive summary provides a quick overview of the business. You should include the following:
Be as specific as possible on who your target market it and how you can serve them. You should include competitors in the space.
Describe how you'll go to market, and sell to your target audience.
A brief description of your expected financial plan. Be sure to include any metrics or benchmarks.
Include this section if you have a management team or want to highlight any business members.
Most banks and investors require a formal business plan. There's still value in producing an informal one because it will help clarify many aspects of your business.
Here are some more tips on how to write a business plan:
Be Concise: Convey the information you need to as quickly as possible. Don't skimp on the important stuff, as you should dive into detail when it adds value. But, remember to value the reader's time and get to the good stuff as soon as possible.
Know The Market: Your strategy should show you understand the market. Do this by showing your experience, relevant statistics, competition analysis and more.
Know Your Finances: A great business plan will include a financial forecast that's in-line with reality. Nobody forecasts perfectly out of the gate but having reasonable projections set expectations appropriately.
Adjust your business roadmap within the context you're using it. If you're using the plan to secure a loan, invest more time in the document. Work on details such as a cover page, higher-quality printed paper and maybe even graphics. Spend more time proofreading it, too.
If it's for your eyes only, don't worry about the niceties. Just make sure it has the crucial information above.