Have you, a small business owner, just finally thrown your hands up in the air and said – I need a business plan written to guide me!
This is because you have arrived at the roadblock where operating without a business plan is now impossible as it seems that overwhelm is taking over because of so many moving parts.. Nobody told you that starting a business could be so stressful!
On the other hand, are you someone who wants to start a business?
You’ve done some of the research for a business plan, although you are unsure it is as thorough as it should be, but, nevertheless you believe you have a game plan.
The main problem is that detail about money. Will it come from a loan or from investors? Know this, before anyone will give you money, regardless of who hears your pitch, they will first want to see your business plan!
Unfortunately, getting this done may seem like an uphill task.
This simple language article will help you understand about business plans and provide you with options on how to get a plan written.
A Business Plan – What Is It?
Think of a business plan as a document that provide answers to the type of questions anyone who may provide financing would like to know about your business.
You will NOT get outside funding without one, because banks, investors, or other people who will provide funding will insist on checking out your business plan because it assures them that you’ve thought through what you’re proposing to do.
A business plan shows them… “I’ve looked at this from every angle, and here’ are my findings”….
Think of the plan as a document that helps you critically review EVERY area of your business in a methodical manner so that you can develop a game plan which will serve as your GPS to ensure the success of the business.
Unfortunately, some business owners, believe that because they are solopreneurs with no employees, they really do not need financing and because of this skip the all-important step of creating a business plan.
It is only when they begin to experience high levels of overwhelm and frustration do they now seek direction and end up requiring a business plan to “course correct”.
I Need a Business Plan Written – What Should It Include?
There are several key questions your business plan must answer. These include the following:
Question 1 – Nature of the Business
What type of business do you plan to operate? Will this be service based, product manufacturing, product re-distribution or other kind of business?
Question 2 – The Product or Service
The very first question a business plan must address is What is your product or service?
It must explain in clear, concise language the product or service to be provided and the reason for your choice.
Question 3 – Who are Your Customers?
Who are your customers? After you’ve explained your product or service, the next step is to identify who you plan to sell your product or service to and why.
What is the customers’ need or pain point you are trying to solve?
You need information about the demographics (age, sex, language, country, state or city, income, etc.) It is important that you clearly identify your customers in order to properly target your advertising, packaging, pricing, etc.
Question 4 – What Makes You Different from Your Competitors?
You must to identify the main factors that will differentiate your business from other businesses who are your competitors.
What niche are you filling that they are not, or what do you plan to do to fill a particular void in the market that you’ve identified?
Question 5 – What are Your Start-up Expenses and Financials?
Your start-up expenses include any equipment that you need before you can get up-and-running, while your day-to-day expenses are employee or contractor costs and supplies.
This section includes a breakdown of both projected profit and loss per month (in graph form)for the first year in business. Show monthly expenses versus projected profit to indicate how you will pay-off your loan.
The business plan should show you making enough of a profit each month to live on. If this is not the case, then it may be considered unfeasible by banks and investors.
This point also calls for a deep review IF your business has been operating without a business plan and is now struggling.
Question 6 – I Need a Business Plan Written – What is Your Marketing and Sales Plan?
How do you plan to market and sell the product or service? It is no use having a great product or service if you don’t know how to engage with to sell to your customers. This section requires a lot of thought.
Typical Sections of a Written Business Plan
Now that you understand what should generally be included in a business plan, here are the 10 essential sections that make up a traditional business plan.
- Executive summary: Most important section and is written last
- Company description: Provides an overview of the business
- Products and services: Describe these in the context of the problem(s) they will solve
- Market Analysis: Identify customers and the available market
- Competitor Analysis: Identify the competition and what they offer
- Marketing Plan: How you plan to market the product or service
- Operations Plan: How the product or service will be delivered; staffing requirements
- Management team
- Financial plan: Income statement, Expenses, Projected Cash Flow
- References and Appendices
Following each of these sections will create a plan suited to your business. However, there is a lot of work required and the right questions need to be asked and answered. The key questions that the business owner should be able to answer have been discussed above.
Create a Business Plan – Your Options
There are 3 options available
- Write your own business plan
- Task a professional outfit to get this done with minimal input
- Engage a professional out who will WORK WITH YOU to create a business plan tailored to your business
It can be tempting to just want to farm off the exercise of writing a business plan as an outsourced venture with minimal input. This will not yield the best results because a business owner should be very much in-tune with all aspects of their plan.
Unfortunately, many small businesses lack the skills to write their own plans and many usually rely on the services of an experienced company like BCINC to work with them to create a business plan tailored to their small business quickly and efficiently.
We ask and answer the right questions and assist with the required but cumbersome industry and competitor research needed for a business plan.
Ready to take the next step? Contact us right away
In the real world, there is not a standard length to address your request – I want a business plan – written. A good business plan should be concise enough to address all the necessary questions and demonstrate a game plan for the business over 1-3 years at a minimum.
SBA 2022. Write your business plan. https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/plan-your-business/write-your-business-plan