A business plan is a communication tool, which companies use to seek investment capital, secure loans, and attract strategic business partners.
An effective business plan will help to lure investors and secure credit facilities, as it presents the business model, financials, and forecasts.
A business needs this tool to set goals, track progress toward achieving these goals, and make the necessary changes as the business grows.
Table of Content
Why Should I Have a Business Plan?
Business plans carry many benefits, key among them being:
- Business outlook – They help companies to have a cohesive vision by laying down a roadmap for marketing, sales, manufacturing, human resources, and website design. With a well-laid-out plan of action, businesses stand to improve their chances of success.
- Securing partnerships and capital. – Investors and lenders will need to see your roadmap to success for them to invest in or fund your company. To mitigate risks associated with credit facilities, banks, and private investors require realistic forecasts to determine how and when they will gain returns on their investments.
- Other benefits as outlined by Quickbooks Intuit
6 Essential Components of a Business Plan
You need a solid business plan as a foundation for your entrepreneurship. How could you possibly achieve this? The secret is in the following 6 elements that make up a sound business plan:
1. Executive summary
This section is written last, but it must be captivating enough to appeal to your audience. It provides an overview of the content covered in the report, as well as the company background, achievements, goals, experience, founder details, and business location. Other elements included in this section include the mission and vision statements.
2. Nature of business
This section gives brief information about the industry in which the company operates. Here, the business must provide reliable, verifiable data about its markets as this information is used by investors to make funding decisions.
The organizational structure is also described here, whereby the business states the nature of its operations, legal formation, products or services to be sold, and measures to achieve a competitive edge.
It is better to develop an organizational chart to demonstrate the business ownership, whether a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation.
3. Market analysis
Market analysis refers to an evaluation of the target market in which the business will be operating, in terms of size and market share, strengths, and weaknesses. At this level, the business should also cover barriers to market entry and legal requirements likely to hinder progress.
Understanding how the business will enter the market is crucial to its success. Reviewing consumer buying patterns (for instance during Black Friday) and competitor performance is equally important in preparing for upcoming holiday seasons.
It is also advisable that a business takes advantage of technology and developments available across the industry to improve on customer experience through efficient service delivery, product innovation, and lower costs of operations.
4. Product offering
What value are customers exchanging for their money? How often do they need your services? These questions can help the business to develop the right product, features, and benefits for the target market.
Other issues covered under the product offering section include product life cycle and anticipated research and development projects.
5. Sales and marketing
This section discusses the strategy the business will use to penetrate the market, how it will grow, distribution channels, and communication structure for interacting with customers and other key stakeholders. This part also gives a structure of the company’s selling activities.
Actions transform ideas into results. Marketing can be done either through one-on-one meetings or through promotions. Either way, your method should appeal to your target market, leading to increased sales and profits.
6. Financial outlook
The financial outlook is important to secure funding from lenders and investors. This information includes a historical analysis of the company’s financial statements, such as income statements, statements of cash flows, and statements of financial position for 3- to 5-year period. Additionally, the company should provide projections on the effect of its business or new product, or cash input.
Forecasts should be realistic to convince investors to pump capital into your business. You can create professional financial forecasts using tools like Wrike.
Business plans are a must-have to set operational and financial goals, track business progress, and make the necessary changes as the company grows.
Victoria is a seasoned SEO content writer and copywriter with proven experience in creating unique, insightful, and engaging content for a wide range of audiences that ranks high on search engines. Learn more about her work by visiting her Fiverr Profile.
Victoria is a seasoned SEO content writer and copywriter with proven experience in creating unique, insightful, and engaging content for a wide range of audiences that ranks high on search engines.
She is also a personal finance coach who will help you manage your money better by reducing wastage and identifying opportunities to grow your income. Follow her on her social media pages where she talks about personal finance and business growth strategies.
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