It’s important to have a road map for your business that shows where you want to go and how you’re going to get there. A clear business plan will allow you to focus on your goals and take opportunities as they present themselves.
Here, we cover the basics of what your business plan should encompass. Keep our Plan Writer for business tool handy as you read through this article.
Even the greatest thinkers need to write their ideas down to get the most out of them. It’s no different when planning to start a business – by committing your plans to writing, you’ll help identify your priorities and measure your progress towards achieving your goals.
Purpose of your plan
Your business plan should have three main purposes:
You can tailor your business plan to your vision and include creativity if you wish, however there are some key elements that every plan should possess.
A description of your business
The first section of your business plan needs to let the reader know what your business is, what it stands for, and what you want it to achieve. Include:
Write down the information you’ve researched about the marketplace you want to sell your products or services in. Specifically mention:
Think about what will set your business apart from your potential rivals. It could help to conduct a SWOT analysis of each of your main prospective competitors – a competitor SWOT analysis clearly identifies a future competitor’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
Following your analysis, look for some gaps in the competition that you can use to your advantage when you enter the market. What can you offer customers that your future competitors’ currently don’t?
Marketing and sales strategies
By this point you’re likely to have researched your target market to establish that there’s a viable opportunity to sell your goods or services. Use your business plan to record in detail how you plan to market your offerings and which channels you plan to sell through.
Your marketing plan should talk about your strategies on pricing, promotions and product or service positioning. Also make a note of the types of marketing tools you intend to use, like social media, television, and print advertising.
Your business’s sales strategy needs to detail where you plan to sell your products or services, the sales process you intend to implement, and any after-sales service you’ll offer your customers.
By providing your planned marketing and sales strategies, you’ll reassure your financial backers while also having a guide in writing for your marketing and sales people.
Write down how your business will actually operate – for example, the type of staff you’ll need and the way management will be set up. Consider:
Document the financial resources you have available to begin your business. These should include: