How to Make a Business Plan – A Step-by-Step Guide

If you own a business, you must have a thought-out business plan. This business plan will help your business grow and move in the direction you want it. Having a business plan is a must for any business and must be as perfect as possible. 

It must show your business in the best way possible to garner the right partners and investors. What exactly goes into a business plan? How do you go about writing it? 

We will answer these questions in this article. This way, you can have an organized and well thought out business plan. 

What Goes In A Business Plan?

Like a thesis, your business plan needs to be well executed. It must have all the necessary information and keep out anything unnecessary. Your data needs to be updated and as accurate as possible. Your business plan should be outlined as follows.

  • Introduction: Executive Summary
  • Company Description
  • Market Study
  • Organizational Chart
  • Products and Services
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Start-up Capital Breakdown
  • Business Projections
  • Personnel Resumes
  • Business Permits

These crucial details will outline for your investors the potential l of your business to succeed. If they see it is well thought out and planned, the more likely they will invest. A business plan will also help you to gauge where you need to be and when. 

Brainstorm with your team when making the plan. That way, it covers all the ground that needs to be covered.

Step 1: Introduction: Executive Summary

This section of your business plan should sufficiently introduce your business and its vision. Make sure it answers the crucial question: 

  • What is your sector?
  • What are your products and service?
  • Who are your potential customers?
  • What are your business projections?
  • Is your company scalable?
  • What is the history behind your business?

Answering these questions will give you a pleasant and robust introduction that pumps up your investors into considering your offer. Additionally, it makes for an appealing opening note that will have them hooked and listening to the rest of the business plan.

Step 2: Company Description

This part of your business proposal should have your goals and objectives. It will show how your business will evolve and become the success story you want it to be. The company description should also delve deeper into the full meaning of your business. 

This means laying out short and long term plans of action. It also means describing what you plan on doing with your business as time goes by.

Step 3: Market Study

The market study section will show how your business compares to others within the same sector. Your market study should be complete with information about who your customers will be, how your location impacts sales, and who your competitors are. 

Take the time to research this aspect. The market study will not just benefit your investors, but it will also help you jot down a plan of action for the long term.

Step 4: Organizational Chart

Plain and simple, this section will layout the personnel involved in the business. It will also state who is in charge of what. It is good to lay this method; so everyone knows what their responsibilities are and what role they play in the larger picture. Organizational charts will also help you keep organized and ensure your business runs smoothly. 

Step 5: Products and Services

All businesses have something they want to offer. With the products and services section, you will lay this out clearly and efficiently. If you have too much to offer, make sure you include at least the top 10 offerings you have. 

Knowing what you offer will allow you to focus on a target market without any distractions. Try to narrow down your offerings and make it as unique and versatile as possible.

Step 6: Marketing Strategy

How you present your business to the public is what we call a marketing strategy. This is how people will relate to your offerings and potentially avail of your products or service. This section will outline how you plan on garnering customers and clients. It will also layout how you plan on ensuring recurrence in service availments.

Step 7: Start-up Capital Breakdown

You will need to iron out how much your start-up costs will incur. This will inform investors how much they need to shell out to get your business running. As much as possible, make sure it is as accurate and informational as possible. 

Every little detail must be included. Even the small things will build up if not included right away. You do not want any financial surprises that affect you adversely. So, it is best to lay everything out here.

Step 8: Business Projections

Investors, as well as yourself, will need to know where your business is heading. Is it scalable and viable? Does it add value to the market? How will it add value? These are the questions you need to ask to draft this section. Once you answer these questions, you can delve deeper into the how’s and why’s of your proposition. 

The business projection section should include your profit and costs of operation as well. 

Step 9: Personnel Resumes

You and your investors will want to keep handy the backgrounds of those who work for you. This way, they are assured that you have a reliable team behind your business. Additionally, you can rest assured that the people you have chosen are well qualified and ready to commit to their responsibilities. Having the right personnel is very important. 

You must hire people who fit the job description as tightly as possible. Moreover, make sure they have excellent references. These factors will contribute to your businesses success. A company is only as good as the people in it.

Step 10: Business Permits

Make sure you have all your permits in place. You do not want to run into problems down the line. Having the right business permits shows your investors that you are legally committed and able to handle the requirements of the business world. These permits will ensure that you are certified, which will bring your credibility. Having the right credentials will bring in customers and clients. 

The Bottom Line

Your business plan is not just for your investors. It is also a way for you to thoroughly plan out your business and ensure that it goes as planned. Business plans are something you need to update continually. It is not a one and done deal. As a note, you should attempt to update your policy every six months or so just to make sure you are on-trend.

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