Every building needs a well-developed blueprint just like every business needs a well-developed business plan. This comparison has been made for a number of years through a number of different industries primarily because of its overall relevance. However, developing a business plan requires much more than just creating a basic “blueprint” for your company. There are four essential elements that have to be in place for your plan to be efficient yet effective.
An Executive Summary
One of the first things that you should have displayed within your business plan is the executive summary, because this is going to allow you to immediately let your reader know exactly what you want and what you are asking for. Keep it professional, simple and concise because it truly doesn’t need to be drawn out and lengthy. It can actually be used as a business plan guide that creates an outline for the rest of the document.
Use this summary to provide your audience with a brief synopsis of your overall plan. The synopsis should include the overall concept, financial features and requirements, the current position of the business, as well as any major accolades that have been acquired or achievements that have been met, according to Entrepreneur Magazine. Remember that a business plan and the executive summary are supposed a factual, objective look at your business and its current standing, acting as a foundation for the future structure that you will be building. While lofty goals are very easy to talk about, the executive summary is the foundation on which you will be building the future of your company.
A Detailed Market Analysis
Another important element to work into your business plan is a thorough and detailed market analysis; ideally you should check out resources such as the ultimate Guide to business plans prior to going about strategizing one to make an impact in front of potential investors. It should clearly reflect how much knowledge you have about your respective industry as of right now. This can lead to an educational experience for you, filling in gaps in your own knowledge in addition to illuminating possible new markets or showing shortcomings in your current marketing practices. Addressing these areas honestly and with transparency can create an informational experience for your audience. You will also be able to research competitive pricing, distribution techniques, and effective marketing strategies that will allow you to achieve long-term success and profits.
Make sure that you provide a clear definition of your respective market when it comes to size, potential growth, overall structure as well as sales potential. Identify target demographics and channels for reaching potential clients with informations about your products and services. Let this part of your business plan guide you to ironing out several other parts of your plan, including sales strategies, management processes, and organizational ideas, according to the Huffington Post.
An Explanation of What Is Being Offered
Whether your business will be selling products or offering services, you need to clearly explain what you are offering within your business plan as well. A brief description can outline the features and benefits of your products and/or services from the perspective of your customers. Including copies of terms and conditions, terms of service and other contracts can delineate liabilities and the limits of corporate responsibility, as well as establishing a “best practices” outline for business dealings. Focus on advantages and other major selling points that would appeal to their interests and specific needs. Provide details about the actual life cycle of your product, including projections of what will happen in the future.
Do not forget to outline all research and development activities in which you are engaged for your business specifically as well as other businesses within your respective industry. This is also the section in which you can provide information about any patent or copyright filings that you either already have in the works or that have already been approved.
A Breakdown of Your Financial Plan
Another important element for you to implement within your business plan is the planning and projections of your company’s financial structure. The business plan guide that was established within your executive summary should correspond directly with this part of the overall plan because it will allow you to bring everything together. Do not forget to provide information about historical financial data as well as projected financial information such as balance sheets, income statements, cash flow estimates, and budgets. Take it one step at a time, but make sure that you include as much information as possible, according to the National Federation of Independent Business.
While you will find a considerable amount of debate in the entrepreneurial community as to the pros and cons of business plans for startups, a well-crafted business plan can provide you with the information you need to weather marketplace bumps and pitfalls. Knowing your risks and taking early efforts to avoid, deflect, or mitigate potential damage gives you with the flexibility and reassurance that only sound planning can provide.