For you to thrive in the business sphere, knowing how to write a business plan step by step is important. Tony Robbins said, “a dream without a plan is just a wish.” Every successful endeavour you see today had a well-structured plan.
To strategically grow your business, you must map out a plan. You need to look into unique principles you’d adopt for success. This is what writing a business plan is about.
But before we dive into the article proper, there are underlying facts about the business plan we want you to know.
Let’s get started.
Why You Should Write A Business Plan
As you care to know how to write a business plan step by step, it’s equally important you know why you write one. It gives you a sense of purpose.
You should write a business plan because it would increase your success chances as an entrepreneur and enterprise. A good business plan will help you via the following five ways:
- Determine the profitability of your business
- Estimate the costs to commence operation plus subsequent investments and finances
- Attract investors and sponsors to your business
- Give well laid out marketing strategies for generating income
Finally, considering the SWOT analysis in your business plan will aid you to
- Pinpoint your competition’s strengths and weaknesses, opportunities, problems to anticipate and proactively fight against in your business.
- Having seen the valid reasons why you should write a business plan, you should know what your business plan must contain.
Contents of the Business Plan
For your business plan to achieve its intended purpose, certain things must be taken into consideration. We’ve highlighted below 6 things your business plan must contain:
1. Executive Summary
This is the first section of your business plan. It gives insight into what you do as a company. It states your aims and objectives.
As a rule, write this first. It’s cool to cover all other things in your business plan. It’ll make sense to then have a detailed summary of them in the opening summary.
This section clearly defines what you sell, or the services you offer. It states the problem you care to solve or needs you want to meet.
It also mentions whom you target, who needs your products and services. All of these questions are answered in the opportunity section.
This section contains your goals and plans to market your products and services. It includes your market and sales strategies. It includes your success scales, how you operate, and what you envision in gap years.
4. Company and Managerial Competencies
In this part, the company is described in relation to its workforce. Investors and sponsors. People want to know if the team they desire to work with are capable of delivering what they want.
You must convince them that your business is situated in the right place (market-friendly), legally approved and effectively run.
5. Financial Forecast
A business plan must contain financial information such as income statement, sales projection, cash flow statement, and statement of financial position.
6. An appendix
For explanatory notes, product images, and other supplementary information, use the appendix.
Let’s now examine the rules for writing a business plan.
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Rules on How to Write a Business Plan Step by Step
In all writing aspects, there are specific rules. Here are three basic rules to write a superb business plan.
1. Be concise
A good business plan will be short, easy to read and concise. It mustn’t bore readers.
Truth is, business-savvy people do a lot than have time for overloaded and worded pages of business plans! Keep each idea short, clear and simple.
2. Be familiar with your audience
If you’d interest your readers, you must know them, their likes and terms they relate with. Avoid unnecessary words and trivial details which matter less. Else, you piss off potential customers and investors.
3. Be bold
There’s such a thing as being bold with how you craft and express your business plan. It’ll be obvious if you write with this indispensable skill.
Even if you’re only starting out, or you’re somewhere trying to find your foot, don’t be defensive about it. Use affirmative words to show you’re highly optimistic about the future of your business. In the business world, you need to learn how to use words well.
Done with the content and rules to write a business plan, let’s now proceed to the main point of this article.
Here below are the 7 key guides on how to write a business plan step by step.
7 Key Guides on How to Write a Business Plan Step by Step
1. Research Exhaustively
This is the first step to take before you write anything at all. You’ve got to research well. You must know your product, the market demand, the competition, everything it consists of.
Prior knowledge of the industry you want to venture into is crucial. Your audience needs to be sure you know what you’re doing and will serve them satisfactorily.
Hence, you must read and research their needs (your product) exhaustively. It’ll be obvious in your business plan, as you approach each highlight of its content, to the reader’s delight.
2. Succinctly State Your Business Purpose
When your business purpose is ill-defined, your audience won’t read it to the end. Sadly, this has ruined many upstarts. Definite purpose makes your approach definite.
There are things to put in mind while you write down your purpose.
5 questions you should ask yourself when defining purpose in your business plan are:
i. Who is my audience?
ii. Who do I want to attract?
iii. What problems do I intend to solve?
iv. What is my mission?
v. What is my vision?
When you answer the above questions genuinely, you’ll then be able to identify your purpose and communicate them well.
3. Develop your Company’s Profile
Have a Company profile which states the details of your existence as a business. When and how you began, products and services you offer must be stated in it.
How you satisfy impending customers and your uniqueness must be clearly included in your Company’s profile. Above all, have a ready profile. It’s a vital tool on how to write a business plan step by step.
4. Categorize and Prioritize Your Business Segments
The above key guide on how to write a business plan step by step isn’t too common. But we’ll explain it and make it simple.
You’d sure have different selling points, products you offer, and the services you provide. Define them clearly in segments. Now, categorise them intelligently in order of priority. Include your financial goals and strategies, projections, and budgets for each segment.
These will present your audience an intellectual property you’ve adopted to craft your business plan. It assures them you vividly understand your set plans.
5. Structure Your Marketing Strategy
The above key guide is one crucial step to not miss on how to write a business plan step by step. Everyone who cares to ensure a well-structured marketing strategy must aim to:
- Create unique products
- Expand the existing market
- Devise suitable advertising strategy
- Expand bounds and territories
- Create customer relationships and trust till the point of making deals and contracts that yield desired income
- Improve product efficiency and delivery performance
- Raise prices without diminishing sales revenue
The aims above must be well understood. From the objectives to their implementations, what they mean, to what each would cost, all must be defined clearly.
6. Write with Your Audience in Mind
A business must sure have its target customers, so must its business plan have its target audience. Various people can be interested in your business plan – entrepreneurs, bankers, capitalists, investors and the likes!
Even though these readers and the audience might be different, it’s up to you to systematically link them together. Asides your core audience, include broader perspectives which captivate every business oriented mind who reads it.
7. Share Why and How You Care
A good business plan should demonstrate you care to really meet the needs of the audience. Whether a potential customer or an investor, your words must indicate your dedication and passion to solve their problems.
Beyond this, you can share the challenges you’ve encountered while growing your business with your audience. How you intend to plan with the values and lessons creates an emotional intimacy with your audience.
From trying to improve your standards, to strategically grow your business, there are things you should learn and adapt. One of these, which we’ve covered for you in this article is how to write a business plan step by step.
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