What is a Business Plan?
Before starting any endeavor, a plan is required to ensure that everything is done on time, to ensure that all the resources are allocated in an optimal manner, to prepare for any contingencies and to take the big picture into consideration and decide on an objective. That is just what a business plan is supposed to be.
If you start any business without making a business plan, it is akin to shooting in the dark. Besides, in order to start a business you will need to make arrangements with various peoples, which also include banks. You will not be taken seriously until you can prove to them that you have a strategy to succeed.
While making a business plan, make sure to include the following components:
Executive Summary: This section should be written last. It is supposed to be just a page or two long and should contain the highlights and summary of your overall business plan.
Business Description: In this section, you must detail the objectives of your business and the state of the industry and market that you seek to enter. You must detail exactly what opportunities you see in the market. You must also explain the organizational structure that your business will have. In addition you must be able to convince the reader that you will be successful in your endeavor.
Product or Service: The aim of including this in the business plan is to give your investors an idea of the products or the services that will be designed, packaged and marketed to the buyers, and all while earning a profit margin. You will need to set up long term and short term goals and categorize them as marketing, technical, etc. These goals should have fixed timelines and more importantly should be within your ability to achieve. Your investor will want to know about your organizational talent before he invests in you.
Market Analysis: In this section of the business plan, you should be able to successfully convey your understanding of the market. You should be able to determine your target market and also what portion of the target market will you be able to corner taking market dynamics and competitors in account. You need to show exactly how you will be positioning yourself in the market. Conduct exhaustive research to come up with a good and accurate market analysis.
Strategy and Implementation: In this section, you must explain to the interested parties just how you plan to put your ideas to action. Be very specific in this section. Include the responsibilities of managements at various levels and back up your plan with estimates of dates and budget allocation for execution of each section of the plan.
Management Team: In this section, include the key people behind the business and their credentials to lead this endeavor. Also describe the organization and its structure.
Web Plan Summary: E-commerce has become a significant revenue earner for any business. Include details of the website design and development plans in this section. Also include plans to use the internet to market your products and services.
Financial Plan: This section should detail not only the estimated budgets of your project but should also provide an estimate to your investors. Your investors will want to know how you intend to pay your bills and make profits and expand your business in the process. This part of the business planshould contain three documents – a cash flow statement, an income sheet and a balance statement.