Business Plan Guide

Our Complete Step By Step Guide To Writing A Business Plan

baby on a laptop
If you have a brand new business idea, feel like you can’t wait to get started, but are not sure what to do next, a business plan can help you make the move from a good idea to an actual business. This guide will take you through the steps you need to go through in order to create a plan of action for how to set up and run your business. It can also be an essential tool in securing any funding that you may need to get started.

A business plan does not have to be a huge document, in fact you need to make sure it is not. It has to include certain subjects that are essential to the planning of any successful business, but this can still be fairly succinct. Bear in mind that you may be presenting this document to potential funders or investors, so it must be easy to grasp the most important points. Any detail, such as financial forecasts, can be added as Appendixes in the back. This helps to keep the main body of the plan clear and focused.

Bear in mind that this guide is primarily intended for people who are interested in setting up a new business, rather than just forward planning for a business that has been up and running for some time. They key points for any business plan are still the same, but as the emphasis in this guide is for start-ups, it does not focus on some of the things that would require attention for an existing business.

A Business Plan should contain the following main sections:

1.Contact Information

2.Executive Summary

3. Background Information

4. The Product/Service

5. Your Customers

6. Your Competitors

7. Market Research

8. SWOT Analysis

9. Marketing And Promotion

10. Logistics

11. Financial Forecasts

 

Creating Your Business Plan

Using the main headings shown above, we will look at each section in more detail and explain what you need to include in that part of your Business Plan. When you have completed each section you have finished your Business Plan.

Working through the process of creating the plan will help you identify any work that you still need to do in order to be sure you do have a good business idea. So, depending on what stage you are at, you should not necessarily expect to be able to sit down and immediately write a business plan without having to spend time doing more research, etc.

As well as setting out for yourself how your business is going to work, remember that this plan may also have to serve as a sales document to help you sell your idea to investors. It therefore needs to be well written, to the point, jargon free and enticing for the reader.

Click on the headings above or in the column on the right to read through the Guide.

Photo Credit:Baby Working On A Laptop by Petr Kratochvil

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