How To Write A Great Business Plan – 2023-02-01 00:00:00 2023-02-03 00:00:00 https:///r/starting-a-business/business-plan-template/ Starting a Business English A business plan is a road map for the growth and development of your small business. Use this business plan template to set your small business up for success. https:///oidam/intuit/sbseg/en_us/Blog/Illustration/how-to-write-a-business-plan-header-image-us-en.jpg https://https:///r/starting -a-business/business-plan-template/ How to write a business plan in 10 steps + free template |
Whether you’re a seasoned business owner or just starting to think about starting a business, demand comes at you quickly. Amid the rush of to-do lists and meetings, figuring out how to write a business plan—much less follow a business plan—often feels time-consuming and daunting.
How To Write A Great Business Plan
But almost 70% of business owners who have been there and done that recommend writing a business plan before you start a business, according to a recent survey. After all, when done right, business plans pay off big.
Simple Steps To Writing The Perfect Business Plan
And yet, more than 10% of prospective business owners say they have no intention of writing a business plan. Another 10% are not sure if they need a plan.
It’s more than an old cliche: failure to plan is a plan to fail. In fact, a wealth of information now exists in the difference that business plans are written, especially for small or growing companies.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to write a successful business plan, step-by-step, and turn your ideas into reality. Better yet, if you’re pressed for time, we’ve compiled 10 steps and examples into a downloadable template (PDF). The 10 steps in writing a business plan are:
A business plan is the perfect road map for the growth and development of your small business. It communicates who you are, what you plan to do, and how you plan to do it. It also helps you attract talent and investors.
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A business plan template gives investors a blueprint of what to expect from your company and tells them about you as an entrepreneur.
You need a business plan because most venture capitalists (VCs) and all banking institutions will not invest in a startup or small business without a solid, written plan. A business plan not only helps you focus on clear objectives, but it gives outsiders the assurance that you’ve thought ahead.
In 2018, Bplans Entrepreneur Resource Center worked with the University of Oregon to compile and analyze research on the benefits of business planning. Here’s what they found:
Perhaps the strongest evidence comes from a 2010 meta-analysis of the Journal of Business Venturing of 46 separate studies on 11,046 organizations: its findings confirm that “business planning improves the performance of small companies and new companies.”
The Step By Step Guide For Writing A Business Plan
Before you leave your nine to five income, your business plan can tell you that you are ready. In the long run, it will keep you focused on what needs to be done.
Start with a clear picture of the audience your plan will address. Is it a room full of angel investors? Your local bank’s fundraising department? Or is it you, your leaders, and your employees?
Defining your audience helps you determine the language in which you want to present your ideas and the depth you need to help readers take action.
Even if it appears first in the plan, write your executive summary last so you can gather key ideas from the other nine sections. For now, leave it at that.
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An executive summary lays out all the important information about your business within a relatively short space. Executive summaries are generally one page or less. It is a high-level view of everything and summarizes other parts of your plan. In short, it is an overview of your business.
Below, you’ll find an example from a fictional business, Laura’s Landscapers. (We’ll use the same company throughout this guide to make each step practical and easy to repeat.)
This executive summary focuses on what is often called the value proposition or unique selling point: a slogan that is extended to target customers, investors, and employees.
Market research indicates that an increasing number of affluent consumers in Richmond are interested in landscape architecture based on sustainable design. However, high-level companies in the area are scarce. Currently, there are only two – neither of which focus on environmentally friendly planning or are certified by green organizations.
How To Write A Great Business Plan
Laura’s Landscapers provides premium, sustainable services to clients with disposable income, large yards, and nature lovers.
These elements provide context to the bigger picture of your business plan, letting investors know the purpose behind your company so that the goals also make sense.
A mission statement is the reason your business exists. It’s more than what you do or what you sell, it’s about why you do what you do. An effective mission statement should be:
Across all parts of your plan, less is more. Nowhere is this more true than in your mission statement. Think about what motivates you, what causes and experiences led you to start a business, the problems you solved, the broader social issues you care about, etc.
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Tip: Review your mission statement frequently to make sure it aligns with your company’s goals as it evolves. Statements that don’t align with your core values or what you actually do can undermine your marketing efforts and credibility.
Don’t worry about making your company history a dense narrative. Instead, write it like you would a profile:
A business objective gives you a clear goal to focus on, such as the North Star. These goals must be SMART, which means:
They must also be tied to important results. When your objectives are not clearly defined, it is difficult for employees and team members to work towards a common goal. Worse, unrealistic goals won’t inspire confidence from investors, and they won’t have a beneficial impact on your business.
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The mission of Laura’s Landscapers is to change the face of our city through sustainable landscaping and help you create the outdoor living space of your dreams.
Founded in 2021 by sisters Laura and Raquel Smith, we have over 25 years of combined architectural experience. Our staff of four work in teams of two and have completed 10 projects for some of Richmond’s most influential businesses and community leaders.
The next step is to determine your ideal potential customers as well as the actual size and potential of your market. A target market—also known as a persona—identifies demographic information such as:
By being specific, you will demonstrate expertise and build confidence. If your target market is too broad, it can be a red flag for investors.
How To Write A Business Plan
The same goes for your market analysis when you estimate its size and financial value. In addition to the big numbers that cover the entire market, drill down into the address market of your business – meaning, local numbers or numbers that use the total number in your specific segment. You may map your customer journey to better understand their needs and wants.
Laura’s Landscapers’ ideal customers are baby boomers, members of Gen X, or millennials between the ages of 35 and 65 with high incomes. He or she – even primarily, she – is the owner of the house. They are working professionals or have recently retired. In love with the outdoors, they want to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of nature in their backyard, but don’t have the time or skills to do it themselves.
In Richmond, the leading indicators for interest in green, eco-friendly, and sustainable gardens have all increased over the past five years:
Competitive research begins with identifying other companies that sell in the market you are looking to enter. The idea of carving out enough time to learn about every potential competitor you have may sound overwhelming, but it’s extremely beneficial.
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Spend time thinking about what makes you different. If your idea is truly novel, be prepared to explain the customer pain points you see your business solving. If your business does not have direct competition, research other companies that offer similar products or services.
Next, create a chart or table listing your competitors to include in your plan, often called a competitor analysis chart.
Within Richmond’s residential landscape market, there are only two high-end architectural competitors: (1) Yukie’s Yard and (2) Dante’s Landscape Design. All other businesses focus only on industrial projects or residential maintenance.
This section describes the benefits, production process, and life cycle of your product or service, and how your business offering is better than your competitors.
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First, throughout their careers, Laura and Raquel Smith have worked at and with three of Richmond’s leading industrial landscape design firms. This gives us unique access to the residents who are most likely to use our services.
Second, we are the only company certified green by the Richmond Homeowners Association, the National Conservation Association, and Business Leaders for a Greener Richmond.
Third, of our 10 completed projects, seven rated us 5 out of 5 on Google My Business and our price points for those projects put us in a healthy middle ground between our other two competitors.
Your marketing strategy or marketing plan can be the difference between lots of sales that explode or no business at all. A growth strategy is an important part of your business plan.
How To Write A Successful Business Plan
You can also use this section of your business plan to strengthen your strengths and differentiate you from the competition. Be sure to show what you have done, what you plan to do
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