Every entrepreneur would agree that a business plan is a vital factor in the success of your operations.
It serves as a guide and holds the core definition of your business.
Having it alongside you throughout the whole process will make the chances of attaining your goal much greater.
Business plans can have a wide range of uses. It can be developed to help your funding. It can be the outline of your next great big idea.
It can simply be for restructuring an existing operation. Whatever the case is, there are 5 key elements one has to be mindful about when coming up with their pitch deck.
Think of this space as the introduction of your business, the first page your investors will lay their eyes on.
It is very important for the reader to understand what you want and for you to clearly articulate your idea or plan.
This part needs to short and concise, no more than one page since it would be a reflection of how concrete your plan is.
It does not matter if you’re running a web design agency or a restaurant, having a well written executive summary can make or break your business.
The executive summary should include:
- Business concept – This defines the business, its service, and the market. This part should point out what the business serves, to whom and why the specific service or product is needed in the market. This part should be short enough to make the reader understand what you want.
- Financial Requirements and features – This part should highlight the key financial points of your business. Sales, profits, cash flows and return on investment. It should also discuss the amount of capital needed, how it will be used and how it will be obtained.
- Achievements – This should highlight any developments in the business that brings the company closer to success. Achievements like patents, prototypes, acquired facilities, crucial contracts or any results from studies that have been conducted should be included.
This part should be able to explain and contrast on how the different elements of your business fit together.
The business description should be a few paragraphs to a few pages in length depending on the complexity of your business plan.
Discuss the industry in one paragraph, product on the next, the business and factors on why it can be successful in the last two paragraphs.
It is also important to present this section at a high-level since other components of your business plan will discuss the rest. Write the business description in a manner that will excite the reader to read the rest of the plan.
The business description should include:
- Company name – The name of your business as registered.
- Type of business structure – It can be a sole proprietorship, partnership or a corporation.
- Ownership/Board of Directors – The names of the people behind the company
- Vision/Mission statement – A statement that represents the purpose and the future of the company.
- Objectives – A list of what you want to accomplish in the near future based on data presented in different parts of the business plan.
- Products/Services and Target Market – A short outline of what you’re planning to sell or what kind of service you offer and to whom.
Marketing and Sales Strategies
You might have the best product or a one of a kind type of service but it won’t matter if you do not have solid marketing strategies.
This is widely considered as the lifeblood of your business. Having the best product won’t translate into sales if your target market doesn’t know about it.
This section will distinguish your business from your competitors. It is important to be creative and explore options on how and what marketing strategies you will use.
Make sure to use market analysis as a guide to creating certain marketing strategies. We now live in the digital age and marketing tools have been highly innovated over the recent years.
Make sure to utilize the internet and provide whatever information necessary to get your brand out there.
Dream big while writing this section. Unlike other parts of the business plan, the development section of your plan doesn’t necessarily need as much fact and information like the rest.
Looking forward and thinking big will make your development section more attractive.
In this age where change happens quickly, it is necessary for a business to keep developing in order to stay competitive. Make sure to use the company’s vision and mission as a guide in creating your development plan.
This section should include:
- Development Budget – This will paint a more realistic picture of your dream. Consider it a guide to helping your company achieve its goals.
- Product/Service Development – This is where you discuss how you will develop your product or service.
- Market Development – Where you discuss on how your marketing strategies will be developed over time.
- Organizational Development – How you plan to develop your team over time.
The money will fuel your business as you go so it is vital that you take care of your financial health very seriously.
Coming up with a detailed and concise financial summary will not only make your life easier but will also show investors that you know what you are doing.
It is important to provide a record of your investments, financial dealings and discuss how you were able to attain the position you are in today.
Having this information at hand will help forecast how your company will be operating and how things will balance out at the end of each month.
It is important that you develop this section after you have analyzed the market and set clear objectives on where you want to be.