The term “business plan” is frightening, isn’t? Of course, it is!
The thought of having to curate a plan to fund your business through investors can easily drop you at your wit’s end! That is why lots of business owners keep delaying the completion of their business plans.
But to scale up, your small business has to seek the financial help of investors—and that isn’t possible without a proper plan in place! However, developing such a plan doesn’t have to be serious business.
The humongous task can be broken down into parts—all of which can answer an important question about the business, in an interesting & impressive manner.
How to write a business plan like that?
1. Start With The Basic Question
“Who is my ideal customer?” The success of your small business relies on the happiness of your customers. If you know who to target and for what— you have a sound foundation for conducting market research and strategizing the marketing plan.
This way writing a business plan becomes easier. It becomes focused, clear and most importantly, actionable. The business plan is a perfect breakdown of exactly what your company stands for and the services it provides!
2. Create A General Outline Of The Plan
Start your plan with the overview of your business. Answer questions such as mission & vision, products or services offered, owners of the business, etc.
As the plan progresses, address finances—the amount you need and your plans to spend it. Include at least one short-term (less than a year) and one long-term goal (3+ years) of your business, along with a few objectives to achieve those goals.
3. Study About The Market & Your Competition
Investors won’t be fully convinced with your plan unless & until you yourself know who your competitors are (along with their strengths and weaknesses) and what the current market scenario is presently like.
As a small business owner, you must divide the market on the basis of your own analysis and fit your target consumer base in one of the segments. This will not only put your research in perspective but also your business plan.
4. Conduct A SWOT Analysis
As a small business owner, you have to be realistic and work towards analyzing and improving upon your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. A business plan must reflect this genuity!
Whether it is about the things that set your business apart from others or the areas where your company needs to work harder—the investors will be mighty impressed to understand how your business plans to overcome its weaknesses & threats and leverage new opportunities against its strengths.
5. Discuss Management
A business can’t run without its employees. Therefore, you should certainly talk about the people behind all the magic! Your business plan must be able to give the investors some idea about the team’s background and their roles in the day-to-day affairs of the company.
Talking about employee management will boost the investors’ confidence in your business.
6. Talk About Financial Projections
Most businesses skip this part, but the truth is that talking about finance only shows your business in a more positive light. The business plan is the perfect platform for you to explain your assumptions about revenue, sales growth and expenditure.
Highlighting expected year of breaking even, net profits & losses and other expenses incurred will give the investors a sound idea about your business’ financial stability.
7. Discuss Customer Payment Methods
Whether you offer a product or provide services to your customers, they will make payments to you. So ask yourself: “Are my customers comfortable in making payments to my company? Am I offering them the right payment method?”
Before the investors raise questions on your payment mode, discuss it in the business plan. Talk about the software you use. It is not just about boosting the customers’ confidence by offering them a secure payment method, but also convincing the investors with your mode of running the business!
Onesto Payments, for instance, solves payments and POS challenges for small businesses. It also offers the businesses with the best and shares knowledgeable information to keep them updated.
8. Know When To End
Yes. There are many things you can mention in a business plan. But drawing attention to every other detail of the business is not going to fetch results. The key is to be smart and not go overboard with the information you put in the plan.
Investors don’t have time to read the entire business plan. So keep it simple and crisp. A concise business plan doesn’t exceed 20 pages; so make sure yours doesn’t!
Your business plan is a powerful tool. Even after you have received the desired funds, it is important to have a look at it every once a while to stay on track. While you have set goals for your business, the same can be evaluated using the plan. If the progress is not in the right direction, quickly make changes.
It is indeed essential to guide your business’ growth and expansion plans!