Writing your business plan

Writing your business plan

Writing your business plan will undoubtedly be one of the most tedious tasks you will undertake during the start-up of your new business. Nonetheless, the business plan will ultimately be your biggest ally in the success of your Start-up, specifically if your business plan is aimed at raising revenue. Here are my ‘Top Tens’ for developing a practical business plan that will work for you.

10. Research. Research. Research.

Within your market analysis section of your business plan, you will be required to illustrate your knowledge of the market along with your discoveries and conclusions. You will need to research and fully understand the outlook of the industry, the current size and position of the market in your particular industry, and major consumers (or your potential audience/consumer). You will also need to preset a predicted growth pattern of the industry. Any potential investor will look for comprehensive details of the anticipated ROI (return on investment) to include when and how they will be repaid for their investment. Developing an exhaustive and comprehensive market plan and analysis will be imperative to the success of your start-up.

9.  Address the particular audience(s)

Who will you be presenting your plan to? Write for them. Most often, the business plan is written for raising capital for the start-up. Write your plan with the reader in mind. What will they gain from investing in your start-up? Be very clear and precise in the details, in order to draw the readers’ attention to the answers of the questions that they may raise. Anticipate their every question and how you will best explain the answers directly in the plan. When presenting to potential investors, be specific about your investment requests. Clearly define your funding needs, any future funding requirements, your precise intentions with the funding and your anticipated repayment methods and schedule.

8. Be clear and thorough about what it is that you have to offer.

When starting your business, be confident that you fully understand what it is that will make your start-up unique. What need will your product or service provide? What specific differences or benefits will make your business stand out from the others in the industry? Your market research will help you to understand your start-up vs. the competition or others in similar industries.

7. Be confident that all of the crucial areas are included in your plan.

If you cannot afford to hire an expert to write your business plan for you, then you will need to be prepared for the long and daunting task ahead. Not only will you be required to conduct extensive research, but you will also need to pay great attention to both the large and the seemingly less important details. Be very clear about each detail, anticipating the readers every question or concern to provide sufficient information to allow the reader the opportunity to make the best informed decision that they can.

6. Understand your customers
Your customers, or potential customers, will have choices. Why should they choose your business over your competition? Think from the customers’ perspective. What is more important to them in your area of business? Price, quality, etc. Don’t beat yourself up attempting to compete with others in the industry. Offer something new, something better and or something different, that your customers will find more tempting.

5. Use your experiences as a learning platform

Once you have begun your start-up and in some cases, before, you can use the customer feedback and comments to reconstruct your plan, to include a focus on the comments/questions of the customers and refine your strategy.

4. Focus on the problem(s) and solution(s)

Determining who your potential customers will be will lead you to detecting a current problem that others in the industry have not yet solved. Describe how your business will address and ultimately solve the current issue. Refine and expand on the issue and possible solutions, later, as you begin in your start-up.

3. The Executive Summary

Without question, the executive summary of any business plan is the most valuable and decisive part of the business plan. Though it should be the first section of your plan, it will be the first section seen by investors and others first. Write it last. This is your time to shine; your chance to really convince the reader(s) that your company has a strong potential and is a terrific investment.  Your executive plan will essentially be an overview of your plan and if the investor or other reader(s) like what they read here, they will be impelled to continue reading with thoughtful consideration. This will be the most important section of your plan, and will, therefore, require strict attention to detail in order to offer an impeccable presentation of your start-up goals.

2. Revisit and review your plan both after you’ve developed the plan and again in the future as often as necessary.

Update and revise annually, as your needs and your expectations will change, as you grow. The review of an unbiased, unaffiliated, 3rd party will prompt any further questions that should be addressed in the plan.

1. Put your plan into action- USE IT right away.

Your business plan is a “living document”, in other words, it will require action in order to function properly. You will have set anticipated deadlines and presented dates and figures which will become outdated quickly, if you fail to use it right away. Your business success will rely greatly on your actions and being responsible. First act of responsibility- stay focused on your business goals, hence, the purpose of your plan.

Top Ten tips for writing business plans

22 Nov

Writing your business plan will undoubtedly be one of the most tedious tasks you will undertake during the start-up of your new business. Nonetheless, the business plan will ultimately be your biggest ally in the success of your Start-up, specifically if your business plan is aimed at raising revenue. Here are my ‘Top Tens’ for developing a practical business plan that will work for you.

10. Research. Research. Research.

Within your market analysis section of your business plan, you will be required to illustrate your knowledge of the market along with your discoveries and conclusions. You will need to research and fully understand the outlook of the industry, the current size and position of the market in your particular industry, and major consumers (or your potential audience/consumer). You will also need to preset a predicted growth pattern of the industry. Any potential investor will look for comprehensive details of the anticipated ROI (return on investment) to include when and how they will be repaid for their investment. Developing an exhaustive and comprehensive market plan and analysis will be imperative to the success of your start-up.

9.  Address the particular audience(s)

Who will you be presenting your plan to? Write for them. Most often, the business plan is written for raising capital for the start-up. Write your plan with the reader in mind. What will they gain from investing in your start-up? Be very clear and precise in the details, in order to draw the readers’ attention to the answers of the questions that they may raise. Anticipate their every question and how you will best explain the answers directly in the plan. When presenting to potential investors, be specific about your investment requests. Clearly define your funding needs, any future funding requirements, your precise intentions with the funding and your anticipated repayment methods and schedule.

8. Be clear and thorough about what it is that you have to offer.

When starting your business, be confident that you fully understand what it is that will make your start-up unique. What need will your product or service provide? What specific differences or benefits will make your business stand out from the others in the industry? Your market research will help you to understand your start-up vs. the competition or others in similar industries.

7. Be confident that all of the crucial areas are included in your plan.

If you cannot afford to hire an expert to write your business plan for you, then you will need to be prepared for the long and daunting task ahead. Not only will you be required to conduct extensive research, but you will also need to pay great attention to both the large and the seemingly less important details. Be very clear about each detail, anticipating the readers every question or concern to provide sufficient information to allow the reader the opportunity to make the best informed decision that they can.

6. Understand your customers
Your customers, or potential customers, will have choices. Why should they choose your business over your competition? Think from the customers’ perspective. What is more important to them in your area of business? Price, quality, etc. Don’t beat yourself up attempting to compete with others in the industry. Offer something new, something better and or something different, that your customers will find more tempting.

5. Use your experiences as a learning platform

Once you have begun your start-up and in some cases, before, you can use the customer feedback and comments to reconstruct your plan, to include a focus on the comments/questions of the customers and refine your strategy.

4. Focus on the problem(s) and solution(s)

Determining who your potential customers will be will lead you to detecting a current problem that others in the industry have not yet solved. Describe how your business will address and ultimately solve the current issue. Refine and expand on the issue and possible solutions, later, as you begin in your start-up.

3. The Executive Summary

Without question, the executive summary of any business plan is the most valuable and decisive part of the business plan. Though it should be the first section of your plan, it will be the first section seen by investors and others first. Write it last. This is your time to shine; your chance to really convince the reader(s) that your company has a strong potential and is a terrific investment.  Your executive plan will essentially be an overview of your plan and if the investor or other reader(s) like what they read here, they will be impelled to continue reading with thoughtful consideration. This will be the most important section of your plan, and will, therefore, require strict attention to detail in order to offer an impeccable presentation of your start-up goals.

2. Revisit and review your plan both after you’ve developed the plan and again in the future as often as necessary.

Update and revise annually, as your needs and your expectations will change, as you grow. The review of an unbiased, unaffiliated, 3rd party will prompt any further questions that should be addressed in the plan.

1. Put your plan into action- USE IT right away.

Your business plan is a “living document”, in other words, it will require action in order to function properly. You will have set anticipated deadlines and presented dates and figures which will become outdated quickly, if you fail to use it right away. Your business success will rely greatly on your actions and being responsible. First act of responsibility- stay focused on your business goals, hence, the purpose of your plan.

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