Anyone can have an idea but not many can monetize that. Turning an idea into a viable business is not just difficult but also, pretty complex. Are you looking you startup a business? Is it you first business? Does it involve an intimidatingly competitive industry?
If yes, then we got you covered! With the following writing tips, you’d be able to write the business plan which will bring your idea to life and your efforts to fruition.
First things first, it is important to understand what a business plan is. A business plan, to cut it short, is a plan which encompasses multiple aspects of a business. It provides a direction to your idea and helps you execute it effectively. A typical business plan has around seven elements, which are as follows:
- Executive Summary
- Company Description
- Market Research
- Offering (product/ service being offered)
- Management and Operational Structure
- Marketing and Sales Strategy
Now, how to curate one? Follow along:
1. Know how to work your audience
Know your audience! You must be aware of who will read your plan. What is its purpose? Who will read it? Am I looking to secure funding? Do I need to attract a business partner?
The key facts and figures will not differ; you just have to establish different versions to meet your wide range of audiences. So, for instance, an investor would be interested in how much he/she will be yielding from the investment and how much time, whereas, the business partner would be interested in return as well as the operational and managerial side of the business. With that, a bank manager/ lender would like to know about the business’ pay back ability and even a proof that it would be able to pay back a loan.
2. Explore your potential market
Market research is imperative. It is important to be well versed with your target market. Questions like: Would my customers be able to afford the product? Is it accessible for them? What are the threats/ opportunities available in the market?
The research must be thorough and hence, be reflected in your business plan. You must show great awareness about your opportunities and threats, which requires considering exploiting your strengths and weaknesses well.
3. Be aware of the competition
Another facet of understanding your market is by recognizing the competition that lies. It is important to be aware of all your potential competitors – who they are, their strengths and weaknesses and the likely implications for your business. With most business-facing fierce competition, to pave through, you need to have a clear cut strategy for dealing with those competitors.
4. Having an eye for details
It is important to stick to the details and not beating about the bush. The business plan should be to the point without missing out on important/ factual information about the business. Make sure that the plan is proofread by you to keep from making lousy mistakes like that of spelling mistakes, errors, unrealistic assumptions or fantasy figures.
5. Acquaint them with what you have to offer
To successfully attain investment, you must thoroughly describe the opportunity. Think about the unique proposition you have which will derive the demand and make you stand out from the rest, why would the customers be attracted to your product/ service? Make sure you answer the key questions in your plan.
6. Don’t leave out important facts
As already mentioned, the plan must encompass the whole scenario of the business. From the product/ service to the customers, suppliers, competitors, to the management team, operations and most importantly, the financials and development goals and strategy. These must be outlined so that no open ends are left. Covering a wider area will leave not just an impressive impact but also, a lasting one.
7. Get your financial information right
Financial information is what most stakeholders of your business would be interested in and hence, it will face particular scrutiny. The initial investment/ cost must be highlighted which must be supported by realistic cash inflows as well as outflows. This way, investors can easily figure out the payback period for their initial investment. If you’re not particularly good with numbers or are just a newbie, consulting a business advisor is the best way to go about it.
8. Make your executive summary convincing
The executive summary as being the first and foremost part of your plan requires the most time. It must be factual and engaging. With that, it must provide headline figures and condenses your strategy into key points. The best way to go about it is to leave it until last to write and spend the most time to make it impressive without going too overboard.
9. Get the second opinion from a professional
Once the difficult part of drafting is out of the way, have it independently reviewed. Friends and family are a great way to start but for constructive and unbiased criticism, you must seek help from an accountant or even a business adviser. For convenience, you can even get it reviewed from multiple websites online.
10. Implement your business plan properly
It is imperative to understand that a business plan is a tool that helps not just the stakeholders but also you, as an entrepreneur to judge the business’ performance and direct the strategy accordingly. The plan must be dynamic and thus, must be revised with newer goals, responsibilities and deadlines.
Starting a business from scratch is daunting. One can easily succumb to the pressures of the market. To bring things into perspective, it is important to step back and plan things out. It is overwhelming, we get it. To make your task easier, you can always seek help from online forums and save loads of time and money. One such platform is paperhelp.org. This website provides you with a variety of options. So what are you waiting for? Hit the website up and begin bringing your million dollar idea to fruition.