A business plan is the map to success. It is a blueprint of how you plan to enter markets, acquire new clients and expand your business. A plan also helps you determine your exit strategy. It’s important to understand that there are two kinds of business plans those that succeed and those that fail. Here are several key guidelines to writing a successful one.
First, test your idea on associates and clients. Do your homework. Consider a template or software to help you craft your initial business plan. Include a management overview, a business description, customer analysis and a detailed financial plan with projected results. When presenting your business goals, provide specific, attainable deadlines for each goal. The business plan needs to be easy to understand, detailed and include details that support your claims.
Second, develop a solid market analysis. Your business plans will include a market analysis, which identifies current and future opportunities. Market analysis must include customer characteristics such as demographics and lifestyle that will help you tailor your services and products to fit the needs of your target audience.
Third, create an executive summary. An executive summary provides the company’s executive summary and a description of the organization. It’s not nearly as extensive as a business plan because it only briefly states the goals and objectives. However, it’s critical to the success of your startup business. The summary should explain in one sentence, “We are establishing a new business for which we are designing a product that will solve a problem.” The executive summary must address key personnel, marketing, finance, business development and operational issues.
Fourth, create a budget. A budget is an effective tool to ensure that you stay on track with your startup business plan. The budget will include a financial plan, sales and cost estimates, a technical write up describing the company’s products and services as well as a business plan. A budget should cover all areas of the startup company’s operations. It’s critical to the success of your company that you have an accurate budget so you know where your company stands financially and how to fund your operations moving forward.
Fifth, work with angel investors and venture capital firms. Investors, whether conventional or private, are looking for high risk, high return investments. As a result, they want to see your startup company have a significant amount of risk and capital investment. Angel investors want to see traction, which means they are looking for a company that has an established market and/or products. The capital for your startup may come from multiple sources including friends, family, personal savings, investors, and other third parties. All of these funding sources require you to work with them in order to obtain capital for your business plans.
Sixth, work with a copywriter. Your business plans will be the most effective marketing tools you have when it comes to selling your business. A strong marketing plan will help to convince investors to invest in your company. For example, an investor may want to take a 30% stake in your company in exchange for giving you a low risk capital loan. In order to get your business plan into the top echelon of business plans, you must be able to create an effective and compelling executive summary. The executive summary needs to be written in a clear and concise format that can be easily edited and changed as needed.
Thoroughly describe your company’s products and services. It is essential that the executive summary and your business plan accurately describe the products and services you are offering. It is also a good idea to include a company description, which will provide investors with additional information. The company description will help potential investors to determine the likelihood of a business’s success, thus increasing their likelihood of investing in your company.