Planning to start a business of your own? Don’t know how to make your dream of setting up a business a reality? No matter whether it is a startup or to expand the existing one, it always starts with making a written plan on how to go about it. In simple words, any business need to have a documented business plan that has details of what the business is all about, how you plan to take it ahead and what are the ways you plan to get it done. You would need to include about the future aspects of the business that you foresee.
Now that you have got your idea for the business, definitely you have many questions as to how to start or get ahead with the thought or idea. This involves a lot of homework to be done from your side. But having the thought or idea would not suffice one to bring forth your business. The questions could range from where you want to set up, what is expected 5 or 10 years down the line, what profits or revenues would it generate, what type and how many employees would be required, etc. Thinking why a business plan? To get a direction for your idea, writing a business plan is the best option. Moreover, it is document that would allow you to seek investors through properly defined details.
Writing a business plan is not an easy task. But with these 7 simple steps, you are sure to make one. A business plan must have the following aspects in it.
- A detailed Summary: This is the most important part of the whole document which highlights the whole business plan in a nutshell. It should be written precisely and in simple words describing what you want to do – whether it is services or products that you want to sell. Let’s say it is your objective or your goal! By writing this document, you would be pushed to define as to why you consider your business unique. By having uniqueness, you are sure to succeed and remain strong in the market. It could relate to your services or your team qualities or the technology that you are to invest. In short the summary briefs about your goals, what are your plans to attain those goals, and which way you would reach them. Try to include a vision statement as it would give a better understanding of how you foresee the future trends.
- Describing your business: This part of the document should detail about the business that you intend to have and its future goals. This could also include markets, new products, or developments. Having the details about the markets is to give an idea about the customer base and basis of selling. In case of developments to services or enhancement of products are also to be described as it would portray how you take care of customer needs and foresee evitable changes. Moreover, it is best to detail whether those developments have positive impact and how you would modify your process without impacting the structure.
- Defining the market: The market for your business can be defined based on the analysis carried out prior to writing the plan. This is mainly to know what is the business intended for and which section or sector is it targeted to bring about sales. Give an account of the size of the market, the market trends and the changes that you visualize for the future. This indirectly indicates your target customers, their needs and their locations.
- Analysis of your competitors: As the word says, this description is to brief upon the weak areas of the competitors. By doing so, you may be able to take advantage of the aspect into your business and give shape to your plans. It could be in the form of making developments to products or in the services provided. Whatever be it, through proper analysis, you would be able to bring out the advantage that you would be taking.
- Details of design plan: Once the idea has developed, the next stage is the design requirement and any developments related to it. It is important for the next stage related to production and marketing. Moreover, it also helps the company to create a budgetary requisites so that investors can be called upon. It is imperative to mention the method of reaching the target customers – be it marketing plan or use of promotions. Having details of the price for the products you wish to sell or service you wish to run, documenting them is better to know what the trend is. Hence, make a proper documentation of the design for your business and bring in all possible details such that main aspects are covered.
- Planning the operations: The operations should include all the stages necessary for executing the business on long term basis. This aspect of the plan should include the details of logistics, duties for each and every department that would be part of the business as well as the responsibilities of the team working for the business. Not to miss out the main aspect, the expenditure for running the business. Be it machinery or services, each has its own capital requirements.
- Planning the financial requirement: With all details of the budgetary requirement and capital expenditures, you must describe how you are intending to finance those activities for your business to run. Maybe you intend to utilize sources from external parties or governmental aides, or through involving stakeholders. You must decide and project your ideas and views of how those funds would be invested and which method do you intend to recover the profit for years to come. Further, you need to project how you would take care of the team working under you and also provide the details of assets that would be part of the business.
Hence, from the above description you may have noted the purpose of a business plan. It is like a roadmap to help you run your business in an organized form. So, if you have decided that you have an idea that would make you successful, then take out your pen and initiate the task. Once you have a pen and start writing down, your mind would push out ideas of how to execute the business. It’s all about strategies and plans.
The more it is written the better it is for you to speak about it as some ideas would get vanished with time. When you write it down, you actually prepare yourself for well written texts and contents so that it would help you to seek fund for your business. Including pictures or graphics is not a bad idea. So make sure that you format it well by reviewing it as many times you can by giving special attention to your strategy and how your unique ways would bring success. It is better for you to seek the advice of experienced and trusted advisers. For this you could submit or share the draft version of your plan to verify its correctness. It would surely motivate others to invest or become your partner!!