How to write a business plan

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Any new business will have a plan which provides an overview of their business goals. The following post provides detailed advice on how to write a business plan and what to include. A business plan provides focus for a business outlining to potential investors how the business will operate. A solid business plan will be the foundation for any new business providing important information including the idea behind your business venture, your target market, evaluation of the competition and projections on how you will generate revenue, financial forecasts and future growth plans. Business plans are generally created during the beginning of your start up but can also be used to throughout the life of your business. A business plan can also be used to improve the performance of existing businesses.

How to write a business plan

A business plan is vital to the success of any business as it details every aspect of a proposed business operation. There is a wealth of information online to help you formulate a solid and constructed business plan. Banks and potential lenders will request to see your business pan before any financial support is offered. For potential investors, a business plan provides an overview of your business operation outlining where your business is heading.

How to write a business plan

There are essential elements that should be included in every business plan which includes the following;

Executive summary

A one or two page summary of your business plan. This will be the first part that potential investors will read. It is the first impression of your business outlining your business idea, the market you intend to compete in and financial overviews. The executive summary is normally written after you have completed your business plan.

Business description

This part of your business plan details the management and ownership structure, what your business will offer, history, location, personal and business goals and your business mission statement. This part of the business plan will set the scene for the rest of the document.

Target Market

This part of the business plan will detail your target market. How big is the market you intend to compete in? Who will you be selling too? Where is your target market located?

Products and Services

The section should describe what products and services you are offering to your target market. You should be able to describe what makes your products unique to those of your competitors. Details should also include a thorough description of your products and pricing.

Sales and marketing plan

How to write a business plan

This is one of the most important parts of your business plan as it should detail the following information, which market you will compete in, what makes you different from your competitors, state of the market, general costs and how you will generate business. The section should also explain how you intend to sell and promote your products, your pricing structure and how you will reach your target market.

Operations

This section should outline your business administration, how the business will operate, your business location, equipment and premises, overheads, legal relationships, suppliers and polices.

Goals

This section details your business goals, how you will measure success and what millstones your business intends to reach.

Financial Summary

This part of your business plan will be the section that potential investors and banks will scrutinise. The financial summary should also detail projected monthly profit and loss, cash flow, financial position of your business, projected revenue and profit over the next five years and your company balance sheet.

There are great sources of information online providing advice on how to write a business plan including banks and financial advisors that outline the different sections required for a business plan. The above guidelines gives you an overview to getting started.

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