Before you start a business you need to prepare an extensive business plan with all the details about the company, organisation, functioning and resources. This plan will pave the way to success and foresee the possible challenges and problems that might come in the way. However, writing a business plan is not a task that anyone could do - it needs a proper dose of expertise and experience in order for it to set the real framework of the company you intend to establish.
The most reasonable advice one can receive regarding the business plan is to consult an expert. They have the necessary skills and experience of writing a business plan flawlessly. If you, still, want to continue doing it on your own, read on to find out which are the X most important segments of the business plan and how you can perfect them on your own.
Even though this section is relatively short, it summarises the essence of your business plan. Therefore, you need to spend some substantial time working on it. It is the recap of all the pages of your business plan and it must outlay the most important points. And why is it the most important section? Because the reader starts with it. If it is done right, it will steal the reader’s attention and will keep them interested throughout the other pages. If not, the reader will lose track of the important information and won’t be impressed with it. This is especially important if the reader who is reading the business plan is a potential investor.
This being said, the executive summary must wow the potential investor in order to achieve its goals.
Now, what should be included in the executive summary? Answer: Introducing the business idea, background, approach and results, and competitive advantage that will differentiate you from the rest of the crowd. To put it in simpler words - you write about what, how, how long and why or the business.
In addition, you describe how you will solve the customer’s problems and the unique solutions you will use in the process. Then, how will this concept come alive on the particular market and how it will keep up with the existing competitor, eventually coming before them in the race.
Don’t forget to leave some space for the finances and the resources you intend to use in order to keep your business running. Write about the projected income and revenue that will be generated within the first few years and if you aim with the business plan is to find an investor, state specifically how much you will be needing from them along with the sum you are able to provide yourself.
A business can only be successful if it finds its place on the market. Knowing who your ideal client is and how to get to them is vital. That is why the marketing plan is the second most important aspect of the business plan. The marketing plan consists of market analysis, competitive analysis and specific marketing actions that need to be performed in order for the marketing to bring results.
The marketing analysis will help you figure out the size of the market and who will want to buy your products or services. The competitive analysis will show you what you are competing against. The strengths and weaknesses of the top, say, 5 competitors should be listed and all important info like operating hours, pricing, guarantees, return policies, complementary products and many other things that make them stand out should be carefully examined. Finally, the specific marketing actions will show how you will implement the business idea, meaning how you will drive traffic to your company.
The third most important aspect of the process of writing a business plan is describing the financial sources. Here you need to provide explanations in simple English and then, an in-depth analysis of the financial statements. The goal is to convince the reader about how reasonable the financial predictions are and to make them aware of the opportunities they will have by investing in your business idea.