If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. That’s why why writing a business plan is the best first step you can take toward making your dream of owning a successful small business a reality.
In this recording of our “Writing a Business Plan to Get What You Want!” you’ll webinar, you’ll learn about what you need to think about as you draft a business plan, including the sections you must include.
Decide For Whom You are Writing a Business Plan
Your plan will look very different depending on who will be reading it. Potential readers might include:
- A bank
- Potential investors
- Potential partners
If you’re writing a business plan for yourself, you’ll include different information than you will for anyone else. Similarly, a bank may want different information than a potential partner.
Write the Business Overview
The Business Overview is the section to include the following things:
- A description of The Opportunity
- A summary of why what you offer is a solution
- A desciption of your target market
- The unique aspect of your business that gives you a competitive advantage over other businesses in your niche
- A brief summary of how you plan to keep that advantage
The Business Overview paints a picture of your business at a point in time.
Write the Vision Section
In the Vision Section, paint a picture of how you see your business in the future. Include details about:
- Where you see your company in 3 – 5 years
- Your ultimate goal for your business
- A description of your exit strategy
The reader will appreciate that you have thought about the future.
Write the Marketing Research Section
Drafting this section is a very important part of writing a business plan. Consider including:
- Descriptions of the industry trends, consumer trends, and wider general trends (government, economic, technology) that may impact your products;
- Your business’ main competitors and their potential impact.
It’s worth taking time to do any necessary research to write this part of your plan.
Write the Sales Projections Section
The webinar recording goes into how to calculate the sales projections that you should include when writing a business a plan.
Write the Management Team Section
In this section, describe why you, as the owner, are the best person to launch your business, given your support team and contacts.
Write the Marketing and Sales Strategy
Discuss your plan to get the word out about products given factors such as:
- Size of area to be covered
- Marketing budget
- Projected sales
If you need help with this part of writing a business plan our Marketing Solver tool can get you started #ShamelessPersonalPlug
Write the Operations Section
The Operations section is a discussion of issues like processes and delivery. You might want to include details about:
- How you’ll track processes to ensure completion
- Who handles human resources issues like hiring, scheduling, etc.
- The processes in place to handle human resource issues
Nailing down processes is dry work, but necessary. Take the time to protect your employees and yourself and get them in place.
Write the Action Steps Section
Discuss the company’s goals. Break them down into three levels:
- Today’s Goals
- Short Term Goals
- Long Term Goals
Again, this shows that you’ve given thought to your company’s position at the moment and to the direction in which you’d like it to go.
Write the Financial Projections Section
Use this section to demonstrate that the business is financially viable and sustainable over the long-term.
The Last Part of Writing a Business Plan: The Executive Summary
Yes, you write this section last…but it’s the first thing reader sees! Make it compelling! It should make the reader want to keep reading. Are you ready to start writing a business plan?
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