The basics of writing a great business plan
A good business plan is one of the best ways to go about branding your business. A business plan will also help you gain the financial backing you need when you would like to expand your small business or to purchase new equipment. A business plan is quite simply a document that explains the future of your business. It will give you and your employees a guide to the future as you will write down what you are planning to achieve and how you are going to go about accomplishing this goal.
As you sit down to write a business plan, you need to make a list of a few things like potential problems that could arise in the future and what you need to do to overcome them, the organizational structure of your business, the goals of each department, and the amount of capital you need to finance your business. You must include graphs and other things that show your break even costs, cost-saving efforts, and money that is needed to expand.
To write a compelling business plan, we have put together a few basic rules for you to follow:
Rule # 1 - Business concept
The first part of your business plan will include your business concept. List some information about the industry you are in, the business structure, and your products. You need to provide information about your products that will make them interesting and show potential lenders that you are going to become successful with your products. You also need to show them how your business goals will help you achieve success and that investing in your company is not going to be a huge risk on their part.
Rule # 2 - Marketplace section
The second part of writing a good business plan will discuss your marketplace section. You will need to talk about your customers and discuss how you plan to win them over and gain their support. You also need to describe who they are, what their buying patterns are, and what needs they are looking to fill that your company will provide to them. Included in this section, you need to briefly talk about your competition and how you plan to overtake them or how you are going to still make a dent in the market without pushing them out of the way. Your lenders will be anxious to see how competitive you are, especially if you have some fierce competition that doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
Rule # 3 - Finances
The final piece to a good business plan will be your finances. This is where investors and lenders and probably going to look first because they want to see how much money you need to break even and how much you are asking for to send your business far into the future. They want to see some numbers that back up the sales in your business and how these sales will quickly repay your debt to lenders and investors. Get your accountant on board to help you write a good financial section so you won't have any trouble obtaining the financing you need to move your company ahead with expansion or with new equipment and personnel.
There are several other components that will go into making a great business plan and the rules listed above are just a few of the basic tips. It is also important to write a solid executive summary that discusses your business and where it has come from and where you plan to take it. Most business plans average anywhere from 10-500 pages, it all depends on the type of small business you are running and the information your lenders are requesting.