|Based on several requests and questions on how to write a business plan and the benefits of doing it, I have decided to write this article that is more of a Template.Benefits of a Business Plan
If you are starting a new business, your business plan will help you get your idea off the ground. It will give you an opportunity to consider what goals are realistic and achievable and help you indentify what you can do within your budget. Your plan will be a guide to making your idea a reality.
If you own an existing business, having a business plan that is regularly reviewed and updated will help you take control of the direction your business is heading. Your business plan will allow you to make the most of new opportunities and identify potential risks and act before problems occur.
What is a Business Plan?
A business plan is a formal statement of a set of business goals, the reasons they are believed attainable, and the plan for reaching those goals. It may also contain background information about the organization or team attempting to reach those goals.
Business plans may also target changes in perception and branding by the customer, client, taxpayer, or larger community. When the existing business is to assume a major change or when planning a new venture, a 3 to 5 year business plan is required, since investors will look for their annual return in that timeframe.
Below are some of the components of a business plan.
While the business plan’s executive summary is the first thing the readers of your business plan will see, it should be the last part of the business plan you write. You need to have “the feel” for the overall content of the plan before you can begin to summarize it.
The purpose of the summary is to provide your readers with an overview of the business plan. Think of it as an introduction to your business.
The business description usually begins with a short description of the industry. When describing the industry, discuss the present outlook as well as future possibilities. You should also provide information on all the various markets within the industry, including new products or developments that will benefit or adversely affect your business.
Market strategies are the result of a meticulous market analysis. A market analysis forces the entrepreneur to become familiar with all aspects of the market so that the target market can be defined and the company can be positioned in order to garner its share of sales.
The purpose of the competitive analysis is to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors within your market, strategies that will provide you with a distinct advantage, the barriers that can be developed in order to prevent competition from entering your market, and any weaknesses that can be exploited within the product development cycle.
Design & Development Plan
The purpose of the design and development plan section is to provide investors with a description of the product’s design, chart its development within the context of production, marketing and the company itself, and create a development budget that will enable the company to reach its goals.
Operations & Management Plan
The operations and management plan is designed to describe just how the business functions on a continuing basis. The operations plan will highlight the logistics of the organization such as the various responsibilities of the management team, the tasks assigned to each division within the company, and capital and expense requirements related to the operations of the business.
Financial data is always at the back of the business plan, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important than up-front material such as the business concept and the management team.
Work with this guide and you will be able to create a business plan for your existing or new business.
You Will Succeed!
– Chinedum Azuh is the CEO of Learning Lab Nigeria and an Online Consultant with U.S.A. Learning Annex.
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