Every business needs a strong business plan. Whether your motive is to attract potential investors or to have to a clear direction, your business plan is critical for your success. However, writing a business plan isn’t that easy. There are plenty of free online templates to help you out, but they don’t include all of the important details. Here are seven things to know when writing your business plan.
Do Your Research
The first thing you should do is research your market, your objective, and your product. You’ll have to spend twice the time evaluating, researching, and thinking about your business plan. To write a strong business plan, you need to know your company, your competition, your market, and your product as much as possible.
It’s up to you to know everything about your business and the industry before launching it. Read trade magazines and publications about your industry and find your target audience.
Determine the Purpose of Your Plan
A business plan can serve multiple purposes. It should provide you with a road map with different directions to plan your future and avoid any potential mistakes. You should keep this in mind if you’re self-funding or borrowing money to grow your business. For example, if you’re launching a fashion label, then you need to know the amount of money needed to start a clothing line.
If you want to attract potential investors, then your business plan should have a different purpose in mind. Since your business plan should attract investors, you want to make it as clear and concise as possible. When you clearly define your plan, make sure that you define your goals as well.
Create a Company Profile
The company profile includes the history of your organization, information on your audience and target market, the resources used, and the products and services you provide. It should also include how you plan to solve a problem and what makes your business stand out from others. When you create a company profile, you can include it on your website’s About page.
Company profiles are often seen on the company’s websites and are used to attract the right customers. Your company profile can also be used to describe your company’s mission and goals in your business plan. It’s one of the most extensive parts of your plan. Having a company profile in mind will make this step easier.
Document All Aspects of Your Business
Investors want to know if your business will make them money before they put any money into it. They need to know the details of your business. Document everything involved with your business, including the cash flow, expenses, and industry projections. Don’t forget to include other details such as licensing agreements and your location strategy.
Create a Strategic Marketing Plan
A solid business plan should have an aggressive and strategic marketing plan. This includes having marketing objectives such as having a clearly defined content marketing strategy, entering into long-term projects with potential clients and extending or regaining a market for existing products. Of course, a marketing plan will come with its share of costs. You should include a section for allocated budgets for each of your marketing activities.
Adapt it to Your Audience
The people who will read your business plan are lenders, bankers, employees, and venture capitalists. While it’s a diverse group of people, it’s only a finite group, according to Sewport CEO Boris Hodakel. Each reader doesn’t have the same interests in mind. If you know their interests, you can take those into account when creating a business plan for your target audience.
Bankers want the balance sheets and cash-flow statements, while venture capitalists will be looking for basic business and management concepts. You want to make sure that your business plan is modified depending on your audience. Keep these modifications in mind when creating various business plans. For example, if you’re sharing financial projections, that should be across the board.
Explain Why You Care
When you’re creating a business plan for a banker, customer, investor, or team member, you need to show why you’re so passionate about your business. You can discuss some of your business mistakes and the lessons that you’ve learned. Explain what makes you stand out among your competition.
Maybe you’re someone who wants to change the world. You want to change the way that customer service is handled or the way online payments are made. Explain this in your business plan. Your passion will show through everything that you do. Explaining why you care about your business will help create that emotional connection with others so they’ll want to support your business.
Guest Post: About the Author
Tomas Smith is a production process specialist at Sewport – an online marketplace connecting brands and manufacturers, former advisor to various clothing manufacturing businesses. He is passionate about process optimization and all things related to garment manufacturing, writing and sharing his knowledge with the world.