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Write your business plan

Business plans help you run your business

A good business plan will guide you through every phase of starting and running your business. You use your business plan as a roadmap for structuring, operating, and growing your new business. It’s a way to think through the key elements of your business.

Business plans can help you get funding or find new business partners. Investors want to be sure that their investment will pay off. Your business plan is the tool you use to convince people that working with you – or investing in your business – is a smart choice.

Choose a business plan format that works for you

A business plan can be written in any way you want. However, your plan must meet your needs.

Most business plans fall into two main groups: traditional or lean startup.

Traditional business plans are more common. They follow a standard format and ask you to be as detailed as possible in each section. But they often take more work upfront and can have dozens of pages.

There aren’t as many lean startup business plans, but they still follow a standard format. They focus on summarizing the most important parts of your plan. They can last as little as an hour and are usually only one page long.

Classic business plan

This kind of plan is very detailed, takes longer to write, and covers a lot of ground. Because of this, lenders and investors usually want to see this plan.

Lean launch plan

This type of plan is highly focused, quick to write, and contains only key elements. However, some investors and lenders may want to know more.

Traditional business plan format

You might like a traditional business plan format if you are very detail-oriented, want a complete plan, or plan to ask for money from traditional sources.

You don’t have to follow the exact business plan outline when you write your plan. Instead, use the best parts for your business and your needs. Most business plans are made up of a mix of these nine parts.

Summary

Briefly tell your reader your business and why it will be successful. Add your mission statement, product or service, and basic information about your company’s leadership team, employees, and location. You should also provide financial information and high-level growth plans if you apply for funding.

Company description

Use your business description to provide detailed information about your business. Go into detail about the problems your company solves. Be specific and list the consumers, organizations, or businesses your business aims to serve.

Explain the competitive advantages that make your company successful. Are there experts in your team? Have you found a good place for your business? Your company description is the place to show off your strengths.

Market analysis

You need a good understanding of your industry prospects and your target market. Competitive research shows you what other companies are doing and their strengths. Look for trends and topics in your market research. What are successful competitors doing? Why does it work? Can you do better? Now it’s time to answer these questions.

Organization and administration

Tell your reader how your business will be structured and who will run it.

Describe the legal structure of your company. For example, indicate whether you have your business as a C or S corporation, intend to incorporate a general or limited partnership, or are a sole trader or limited liability company (LLC).

Use an organizational chart to define who is responsible for your organization. Show how the unique experiences of each person will help your business succeed. Consider including resumes and resumes of key members of your team.

Service or product line

Describe what you sell or what service you offer. Explain how your customers will benefit and the product life cycle. Share your intellectual property plans, like copyrights or patent applications. If you are doing research and development for your service or product, explain it in detail.

Marketing and Sales

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing strategy. Instead, your strategy should evolve and change to meet your unique needs.

In this section, you would like to describe how you acquire and retain customers. They also describe how a sale will actually go. You’ll refer to this section later when making financial projections, so make sure you thoroughly describe your overall marketing and sales strategies.

For more information you should visit business plan consultant.

Funding request

If you are applying for funding, indicate your funding needs here. Your goal is to clearly explain how much funding you will need over the next five years and what you will use it for.

Indicate whether you want debt or equity, what conditions you would like to apply and how long your request will cover. Provide a detailed description of how you will use your money. State if you need funds to purchase equipment or materials, pay salaries, or pay certain bills until revenue increases. Always describe your long-term financial plans, such as B. paying off your debt or selling your business.

Financial Forecasts

Add financial projections to your application for financing. You want the reader to think that your business is solid and will make money.

If your business is already a corporation, add the last three to five years’ worth of income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements if you have other things you could use as security for a loan, list them now.

Give a forecast of the finances for the next five years. Add forecast income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and investment budgets. In the first year, be even more specific and use quarterly or monthly forecasts. Make sure you explain your projections well and check them against your requests for money.

This is a great place to tell the story of your company’s finances with graphs and charts.

Appendix

Use your attachment to provide receipts or other materials that have been specifically requested. Common items include credit histories, resumes, product images, letters of reference, licenses, permits, patents, legal documents, and other contracts.

Example traditional business plans

Before writing your business plan, read the following sample business plans written by fictional business owners. For example, Maven business plans a consulting firm.

Lean startup format

You may prefer a lean startup format if you want to explain or start your business quickly, your business is relatively simple, or you plan to regularly change and refine your business plan.

Lean startup formats are diagrams that use just a handful of elements to describe your company’s value proposition, infrastructure, customers, and finances. They are useful for visualizing trade-offs and basic facts about your business.

There are several ways to develop a lean startup template. First, you can search the internet for free templates to create your business plan. We discuss here nine components of a sample business plan writers:

Important partnerships

Be aware of the other companies or services you will work with to run your business. Think of suppliers, manufacturers, subcontractors and similar strategic partners.

Key activities

List the ways your company can gain a competitive advantage. Things like selling directly to customers or using technology to make the sharing economy work should be discussed.

Key resources

List all the resources you will use to create value for your customers. Your most important assets can be people, capital or intellectual property.

Value proposition

Make a clear and compelling statement of your company’s unique value to the market.

Customer relationships

Explain how your customers will work with your business. Is it a machine or a person? Face-to-face or online? Think about the whole customer experience from the beginning to the end.

Customer segments

Be specific when naming your target market. Your business won’t be for everyone, so it’s important to clearly know ​​who you want your business to serve.

Channels

List the main ways you speak to your customers. Most companies use a mix of channels and optimize them over time.

Cost structure

Will your business focus on reducing costs or maximizing value? Define your strategy and list the highest costs you will incur in executing it.

Sources of income

How will your business make money? Direct sales, membership fees, and selling advertising space are all examples. Write down all the ways your business can make money if there are more than one.

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