It’s sometimes difficult to guarantee success, even if you have a clear business plan. Nonetheless, with a decent idea, you ought to beat the odds. The best business plans often aim to achieve two missions:
- align the managerial team towards predetermined goals and objectives to enable them to focus on the success of the business
- help in identifying and correcting significant challenges that could lead to terrible losses of money
Above all, your business plan is your sales document. It should attract potential investors and help you to save time and money.
Highlights of an outstanding business plan
1) Executive summary
Begin by drafting a clear yet succinct executive summary of your particular service/product in your marketing templates. This segment should not exceed two pages. However, it has to explain your value proposition. It entails the activities that you intend to do, their profitability and reasons for which clients will want to buy your products.
It’s important to include the total amount of money that you require as well as the mechanism for utilizing it, if you intend to send your plan to prospective investors. As a result, it is prudent to draft the executive summary after completing other parts of your plan.
2) Market opportunity and competition
You must provide data and insights about the potential on your market to attract investors. A free business card mockups can be a great tool for the job; this requires that you research on the depth of your target market. Conduct a SWOT analysis figuring out how to deal with your threats and weaknesses. Then, establish the rate at which the market is expected to grow.
Fortunately, most of this information can be found from census statistics, business owners, chambers of commerce and industry associations. When doing this, provide the sources of your data because you might be called upon to either update or defend your claims.
A business plan can only be ideal if you can identify your competitors. Include your direct and indirect competitors. You should be in a position to identify them, their products and market share; this is significant in determining any barriers to entry and the reasons for which you might attract customers. It also helps to determine your competitive advantage that is crucial for planning.
3) Managerial team
Having developed your idea, you should dig deep to its implementation. You will need a team of experts to help you out. What’s more, most investors are more likely to support your plan if you have a team helping you, than if you are alone. This section demands that you document the professional profiles of every partner, officer, and founder. Therefore, consider outlining their independent qualifications, skills and accomplishments in a resume’ appendix.
4) Business model
Including your business model in your plan only depicts you as an organized person. Business cards and business templates must never miss on your list of marketing tools. An excellent model must have detailed descriptions of your organization’s cost structure. Salaries, inventories, maintenance and rent charges are part of your costs.
Your revenue streams must also be stated not forgetting sale of your product or service, licensing and advertising. Under this segment, identifying major suppliers and distribution partners for your goods and services becomes an added advantage to your plan.
5) Financial performance and financial documents
Real entrepreneurs and investors are on a mission of making profits. You need to convince yourself and interested parties that your products/services are indeed profitable. As a result, if you have been in business for a while, you should document your previous financial performance along with financial projections.
It’s always a good idea to provide a three-year-ahead balance sheet, cash-flow statement and profit and loss statement. Above all, you must not forget to draft your break-even analysis.
Max Benz from bankinggeek.com adds:
“If you’re having a hard time predicting your business’ success try to look for similar companies within your industry or similar industries. This will help you get a better idea of what’s realistically possible (and what’s not)”
On the other hand, if you are simply starting your business and most of your profits are in the bank, you will write different financial documents. For example, your cash flows should compare quarterly payables and receivables.
For the best business plan, your financial projections must be clear and realistic. This demands that you conduct a detailed market research. Then, you must embrace attractive formatting. A plan that is not appealing to the reader is good as trash. Consequently, taking advantage of your styling techniques to draft a well-formatted business plan will not be harmful.
Drafting the best business plan is a venture that every entrepreneur should undertake. You must not forget to include a brief yet detailed executive summary. Investing in market research before coming up with your market opportunities and competition is worthwhile because it allows you to provide real statics.
Additionally, it helps you to figure out realistic financial projections that will not be questionable. Above all, when drafting an attractive plan, you should remember your managerial team and business model.
Back to you
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