Whether launching a new business or growing an established company, writing a business plan creates a roadmap to get you to your destination.
A properly written business plan will…
- Facilitate your meeting with any given bank for start-up financing
- Fine-tune your brand objectives to attract investors
- Formulate your thoughts to better streamline your success
This month, we’re offering our business planning course for FREE, simply by typing in coupon code myPlan-0819 when adding My Business Planning to your cart. Learn how to define your brand, write your business goals and create your sales and marketing funnel. Begin your journey with our guided help…for FREE.
So how DO YOU write a business plan? Here’s a checklist of what a business plan should include. Use this to ensure you have every piece of the puzzle in place.
- Executive Summery
- Business Overview
- Products and Services
- Market Analysis
- Organization and Management
- Marketing and Sales Strategy
- Financial Request & Projections
Now that you have the general layout for your business plan, it’s time to take your talents and express the skills you offer to fully execute your business brainchild!
“Talent you have naturally. Skill is only developed by hours and hours and hours of beating on your craft.” – Will Smith.
Begin With An Executive Summary
An Executive Summary provides a snapshot of your business and should be 1-2 pages long. Although it is the first page in your business plan, it should actually be written last, as it summarizes each category – including:
- A description of your business concept
- Key objectives of your business plan
- Your ownership structure
- Management team details
- The products and/or services you offer
- Your target market
- Competitive advantages
- Your marketing strategy
- A financial projection summary
Check out this Business Checklist to further facilitate your business breakdown!
“What do you need to start a business? Three simple things: know your product better than anyone, know your customer, and have a burning desire to succeed.” – Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s.
Write A Business Overview
A Business Overview is another term for a company description. It will describe what your business does – including:
- Details regarding your business history
- Your vision and/or mission statement
- Business objectives
- Ownership structure
“The stars will never align, and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. ‘Someday’ is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it ‘eventually,’ just do it and correct course along the way.” – Tim Ferriss, The 4-Hour Work Week.
Describe Your Product and/or Services
Your product and/or services are the bread and butter of what your brand is all about. As such, it should describe:
- Your product/service features and benefits
- Your competitive advantages
- How and where your product will be produced
Include A Market Analysis
Your Market Analysis offers data on your industry-type, the market for your product or service, and the competition within that. This industry overview gives you a platform to talk about the viable nature of your business, including:
- Size and growth of your industry
- Key markets
- Purchasing opportunities for your customers – i.e. how they can buy from your business
Investors want to see a viable money-making business plan, so be sure to also include:
- Cash flow
- Industry projections
- …along with finer details such as – location strategy and licensing agreements
Check out How Do I Build a Business Plan? (Infographic) to help you build this!
“When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for people telling you that you are nuts.” Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle Corporation.
Define Your Organization and Management
Having the structural details of your business laid out will include:
- Providing profiles of your management team
- Your human resources plan
- Your business location and facility type
- Your production plan (if you are selling a product)
- An overview of your day-to-day operations
“The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new.” – Socrates, a founder of western philosophy
Provide A Marketing and Sales Strategy
A Marketing and Sales Strategy provides objectives for marketing your business. It should offer a unique selling proposition, which will include:
- Discussing your product or service pricing and promotion plan
- Defining how your promotional plans will attract your target market
- What traditional marketing ideas you have
i.e. print media, digital marketing
- What grass-roots marketing tactics you have
i.e. influencer relationships, social media marketing ideas, networking and mastermind groups
- Describing how your products or services are sold – online, storefront etc
- Offering a content marketing strategy
Project Your Financial Requests & Projections
This final piece of your business plan will discuss how much financial backing you will need for the next 3-5 years, along with balance sheets loaded with all the costs involved in running your business, including:
- Income statements
- Balance sheets
- Monthly cash flow statements
- Annual cash flow statements
*Bonus Tip – Explain Why You Care!
Although a business plan is fairly data-driven, the passion you have for your business should also shine through. Whether you’re seeking financial backing or growing your brand, your plan can still convey passion.
The dedication in pursuing your business will count for a lot, so don’t shy away from including mistakes you learned from, problems you still seek to solve, and the values and purpose that drives your business. This will help establish an emotional connection that will better support your plan overall.
At myCEO.ca, we specialize in many business development strategies – including business plan creation. We will work with you to explore new ideas, inspire creative thinking and build a plan that aligns with the goals and aspirations you envision for you and your business.
Allow us to help you on your journey with our FREE Business Planning Course available now until the end of August. Simply type in coupon code myPlan-0819 when adding My Business Planning to your cart, and finish off the summer by starting up your business effectively!