Getting the structure and design of a Business Plan right is of vital importance. What to include in a plan and could shape the health of any impending business strategy. First of all, it is important to define what a Business Plan actually is. A Business plan is a formal document which contains a variety of information about a business and its future. Included is a variety of subcategories that map out how the business intends to operate. Breaking down these categories, we have a look at what to include to make sure you are on the right track.
Beginning a Business Plan can be difficult if you don’t know where to start. Entrepreneurs should begin with a few sections of the plan to give an overview of the business. The initial section should summarise the Business Concept. Structures and templates can vary but a good starting point should include;
- Executive Summary
- Business Overview
- Business Strategy
- Management Structure
These headings should go into detail how the business intends to operate. Company description, owner information, growth strategies are all further subsections of these headings. Giving an overview in this initial section should set the tone for a well-developed Business Plan.
The main body of the Business Plan should contain information about the marketplace. This section should include research and analysis on various aspects of the business. From identifying target markets to establishing competitors. This section gives valuable information on the industry. A useful format to consider when designing this stage should be;
- Product/Service Line
- Market Analysis
- Consumer Analysis
- Competitor Analysis
- Marketing Strategy
This stage of the Business Plan should entail the most research and analysis. It is imperative to know as much about the market the business is entering. Owners should gather as much information as possible to make sure you are as well informed as can be. Putting the time and effort into analysis will only benefit a business’s future operations.
The final section of any Business Plan should include the finances of the business. Most Business Plans are constructed for the sole purpose of gaining funding. Whether it’s presenting to a bank or a potential investor, highlighting how the business will be financed matters. The categories of the last section should include;
- Financial Projections
Some entrepreneurs reach out to an accountant in this process for help. This makes sure all the balance sheets, cash flow statements and other financial ratios are accurate. Identifying where the business will find capital would also be in this section. Any final summarising information as well as the Appendix will act as the conclusion to the Business Plan. The process of creating a Business Plan should not be rushed and should be as detailed as possible. Putting in the effort to designing a concise, well-developed Business Plan could go a long way in a Businesses progression and be the foundation for success.