Millions of people want to know what is the secret to making money. Most have come to the conclusion that it is to start a business. So how to start a business? The first thing you do to start is business is to create a business plan.
A business plan is a formal statement of a set of business goals, the reasons they are believed attainable, and the plan for reaching those goals. It may also contain background information about the organization or team attempting to reach those goals.
A professional business plan consists of ten parts.
1. Executive Summary
The executive summary is often considered the most important section of a business plan. This section briefly tells your reader where your company is, where you want to take it, and why your business idea will be successful. If you are seeking financing, the executive summary is also your first opportunity to grab a potential investor’s interest.
2. Company Description
This section of your plan provides a high-level review of the different elements of your business. This is akin to an extended elevator pitch and can help readers and potential investors quickly understand the goal of your business and its unique proposition.
3. Market Analysis
The market analysis section of your plan should illustrate your industry and market knowledge as well as any of your research findings and conclusions. This section is usually presented after the company description.
4. Organization and Management
Organization and Management follows the Market Analysis. This section should include: your company’s organizational structure, details about the ownership of your company, profiles of your management team, and the qualifications of your board of directors.
5. Service or Product Line
Once you’ve completed the Organizational and Management section of your plan, the next part of your plan is where you describe your service or product, emphasizing the benefits to potential and current customers. Focus on why your particular product will fill a need for your target customers.
6. Marketing and Sales
Once you’ve completed the Service or Product Line section of your plan, the next part of your plan should focus on your marketing and sales management strategy for your business.
7. Funding Request
If you are seeking funding for your business venture, use this section to outline your requirements.
8. Financial Projections
You should develop the Financial Projections section after you’ve analyzed the market and set clear objectives. That’s when you can allocate resources efficiently. The following is a list of the critical financial statements to include in your business plan packet.
9. Marketing and Sales
Once you’ve completed the Service or Product Line section of your plan, the next part of your business plan should focus on your marketing and sales management strategy for your business.
The Appendix should be provided to readers on an as-needed basis. In other words, it should not be included with the main body of your business plan. Your plan is your communication tool; as such, it will be seen by a lot of people. Some of the information in the business section you will not want everyone to see, but specific individuals (such as creditors) may want access to this information to make lending decisions. Therefore, it is important to have the appendix within easy reach.
How to make your business plan stand out.
One of the first steps to business planning is determining your target market and why they would want to buy from you.
For example, is the market you serve the best one for your product or service? Are the benefits of dealing with your business clear and are they aligned with customer needs? If you’re unsure about the answers to any of these questions, take a step back and revisit the foundation of your business plan.
The following tips can help you clarify what your business has to offer, identify the right target market for it and build a niche for yourself.