Negosentro.com | Keys to a Successful Business Plan | Writing a business plan involves more than just gathering data and presenting it to a potential lender or investor. A business plan is as much a tool as a business card or an advertisement. Though usually developed for investors, some businesses also distribute the business plan to their employees or partners.
Whether a for-profit or nonprofit business plan, a well-written plan is also indicative of a greater potential for success. It shows that you have done the necessary market research and analysis, and are able to draw conclusions, set milestones and make forecasts.
Components of a well-written business plan include the following.
- Remember Your Audience – A business plan should always be written for the intended audience. A business plan that is meant for a lender or investor needs to be short and to the point, or there is a very real chance that the other person may not read your business plan thoroughly. While it may seem like a good idea to put as much information as you can in your business plan, you should ideally leave that for the next stage of your interaction. Your executive summary, for example, should not be more than two pages long. Or if you have lots of pictures you want to add to your business plan, place them in the back under the appendix section.
- Only Provide Necessary Information – You should always go into writing your business plan with the knowledge that the person who is reading it will not spend as much time on it as you think. Providing only necessary and crucial information ensures that they read through your business plan in the limited time that they have.
- Know Your Competition – When you are writing your business plan, you should already have a thorough knowledge of your competition, what is happening in your industry, and the latest developments within it. It is important to showcase what makes you exceptional, so focus on what sets you apart from the competition. If you do not mention your competition, or you simply call yourself unique or better, you don’t showcase your understanding of what makes their business thrive and why they are your competition in the first place.
A marketplace where there is good competition showcases a demand for the product you are selling. This will show your potential to draw in customers.
- Develop Your Financial Plan – Especially when you present your business plan with the intention of asking for money, you need to demonstrate your understanding of why you need that amount and how you intend to invest it into your business. A good financial plan is always an important part of a good business plan. An investor who finds that you are aware of why you need a certain financial sum to advance your business is also more likely to invest in your business.
- Showcase Your Talents – A good business plan also mentions the most important part of your business – you, your team, and your business itself. You should mention specifics of what makes your employees great. Investors are always interested in businesses that have capable and dedicated teams, as that is a good indicator for future growth of the business. You should also include your current successes, as well as future milestones you have set for your business.
A business plan is a representation of the company. It is a way to sell or market your business to investors, lenders, partners and employees. And when your business plan includes strong operational and marketing plans, it will allow you to grow your business more quickly and easily. So don’t delay and start creating your business plan today.