If you have seen examples out there a business plan may seem overwhelming at first. The point is to put all your ideas on paper so you can show others (the bank etc.) what you’re trying to do. Don’t forget it can also help you to re-focus if you get to far away from your original goal. It may seem time consuming but it’s worth it.
There is no set-in-stone manner to compose a business plan. The most important thing is how it addresses your requirements Either a simple business plans or the elaborate business plan (Traditional) they all focus on summarizing the essential points of the critical elements of your project. Thus, writing any meaningful and standard business plan can take you as little as an hour to make In this article, I am going to discuss and enlighten you on how to write a simple business plan as an entrepreneur When writing a business plan, you do not need to adhere to the definite field-tested strategy plot. Instead, it is advisable to utilize the segments that bode well for your business and your needs. Furthermore, simple business plan writing formats contains a blend of these areas accordingly.
The first part of a business plan is the Executive summary. This gives the reader the background of your company the people involved and important highlights from the other sections in the plan. You need to write this last as you will be referring to other sections. Make sure you get it right because you need to capture the reader’s attention.
Executive summary entails a brief introduction of your company and its prospects which include;
- Your company’s statement of mission.
- Product or service.
- Information about your company’s leadership team.
- Information about your employees (provided you have).
- Location of your company. You can include your company’s financial information and a high-level growth plan if you intention is to ask for financing.
In this area of the plan, all you need to do is to provide detailed information about your company and also elaborate on the problems that your company solves.
- Be specific in listing out your consumers
- Clarify the competitive advantage that will make your business triumph and beat other competitors.
- Answer questions concerning the following: i. The number of experts on your team ii. The perfect location for your store N.B. when describing your company is the best time to boast about your strengths.
This tells your reader what you are in business. What is the businesses purpose for existing? It gives the history of your company the products or services that you provide, the legal structure (sole, partnership, corporation)
Here is where you explain where your business is. Is it just beginning? Is it growing? Is it mature? Explain what major accomplishments you have made since starting your small business. This helps to show the reader what your capabilities are.
Your competitive advantage is what you do better than your competition. What makes your business unique and special? Explain your strengths and your competitor’s weaknesses. Are you able to properly identify them?
##Growth Plan In this section you want to give your reader a timeline of where you see your business one year and five years from today. You should provide your key milestones you wish to accomplish and specify a time they will be achieved. List your short-term and long-term goals. This will show your reader you have the proper vision and that you can set SMART Business Goals.
In this section of your business plan, you should discuss how you would promote and sell your products and services. You need to discuss the budget you plan to spend on marketing. You should also describe your target market, who is your ideal customer. You can include various socio-demographic factors, which include age, ethnicity language, and socioeconomic factors like income and education.
Think of the four Ps of marketing. Product, Place, Price and Promotion.
Product: how does the service or product meet the needs of your chosen target market? Place: how will you get the product or service to your customers? Price: how much are you going to charge for your product or service? Promotion: how will you reach your target market?
Organization and management
This is the aspect that you will describe how your company will be structured and who will run it.
- The legal structure of your business is stated here
- State whether you have or intend to incorporate your business as a C or an S corporation, form a general or limited partnership, or if you are a sole proprietor or LLC.
- Also, when writing this area of your business plan, it is vital to use an organizational chart to lay out your company’s ranks and structure of the organization.
- Show how each person’s unique experience will contribute to the success of your venture.
- Consider including resumes and C.V.s of critical members of your team here.
In this section, you describe you current operations and what you expect operations to be like in the next few years. Describe the day-to-day operations. The hours of operations and any seasonal trends. Talk about your location, the size, building, lease agreements and licencing.
What information systems do you use? How do you manage accounts and inventory? What equipment is required for your business?
Include a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis describes your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This will show the reader that you can properly identify areas of improvement and areas of opportunity.
Service or Product Line
In this area all you have to do is
- Describe the product you or what type of service you render.
- Explain how it benefits your clients and customers
- Explain your products or services lifecycle.
- Discuss your plans for intellectual property such as copyright or patent filings. If you are doing research and development for your product or product, you can explain it vividly here.
This aspect contains information and answers on market researches you might have done. In your market research things such as market trends, themes, procedures of successful competitors and how to beat them must be done Competitive research will demonstrate to you what different organizations are doing their, qualities and strength. After doing your competitive research and having a good understanding of your industry outlook and target market; here is where the analysis will be documented.
Marketing and sales
Your objective in this segment is to portray how you will attract and hold the client.
- Describe how a sale will happen.
- Describe in details your complete marketing and sales strategies. As it is well known that there is never a structured marketing strategy, therefore your business strategy should evolve to fit your needs.
This is where you will outline your funding requirements if you are requesting funds.
- Your goal is to clearly explain how much funding you’ll need over the next years, how you will use it and what you will use it for.
- Specify whether you want debt or equity, the terms you wish to apply for it, and the length of the time range of your request.
- Moreover, a detailed description of how you’ll use your funds will be written in this category; Specifying the main reason for the fund request, i.e., if it’s to buy equipment, pay workers’ wages or salaries, or cover specific bills until revenue increases.
- Finally, never forget to include the description of your future strategic financial plans here
Human Resources Plan
Here you need to discuss how you manage employees and the processes you have in recruitment, training and retention. In addition, you should mention if you have any mentors, business consultants whom you get support.
Include an organizational chart of your business. This shows who the employees are, what their positions are and who reports to whom.
Include a job description of each position. This shows the qualifications and skills required.
This section breaks down all the numbers of your business. You need to show your financial projections for up to five years. You also need to be real detailed outline of the next one year. This includes expenses and revenues.
You must include cash flow statements and sales forecasts. The cash flow statements for a year including salaries and expenses. The sales forecasts include what you expect for your product or service.
Financial Performance Data showing how your business compares to others within your industry. Your goal in this area is to convince the reader that your business is stable and will be a commercial success; therefore, supplement your funding request with financial projections.
- Include income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements for the last three to five years in this portion of your business plan if you already have a business. And If you have other collateral, you could put against a loan you can document them down.
- Give a prospective financial related standpoint for the past five years. Incorporate determined salary explanations, accounting reports, income proclamations, and capital use expenditure plans.
- Ensure that you clearly explain your predictions and that these match to your funding requests. It is advisable also to use graphs and charts to tell the financial story of your business here.
The Appendix is a perfect place to provide supporting documents and other materials that may have been specially requested. Items to include can be credit histories, resumes of owners or board members, product pictures, reference letters, copies of licenses, permits, or patents.