Every business starts with an idea, but it’s nothing without a good plan. Well, hello, today we will try to understand why every business must have a plan and what is it!
So, what is a business plan? Sounds fun, but that’s the plan of your business. And it helps you to grow. Yep, sure, not only the plan can help you, but every step is important, and let it be the first.
What is a Business Plan
A business plan is a document that changes shape as your business develops, grows, changes, and improves. Don’t forget to check it from time to time several times a year and correct it according to the shifts of your business. Even the best plan in the world needs some changes in a long distance. Generally speaking, most business plans are about 20 pages long. You don’t need to write a scientific work, it just needs structure and content.
First of all, your business plan should contain your objectives. Saying about your aims is one of the most important past. Any idea is nothing without showing it to the world. If you show this document to somebody, it will be paid more attention than other pages.
Describe everything that you are going to do, step by step. Mention every way and method that can be used for your target. If we have certain points, it’ll be easier to follow them and as a result, get a good final.
The next part of the plan should contain major information about the market where your company will realize this business plan. Show how much you know about the industry and how it would apply to the future. List potential growth and areas of your business that could be hard and would look like a problem. It could help to solve a lot of problems before you get into it. For example, if we know that any part of this industry is not very secure, we can mention it and pay special attention to it in the future. Trust me, it’s easier to kill the trouble before it appears than when it follows you day and night in your nightmares.
Also, you can analyze your potential audience and make some predictions: will they stay with you at any time or should we think about new horizons faster? Estimate how many customers we can lose and mention it in the plan. In short, show that your business will bring profit in any case.
Don’t forget about your competitors. Pay attention to the main questions about them. Who are they? Why do people choose them? Where do we compete with these companies and how do we share the market? Do they have weak sides? Strong sides? How can we use their weakness to reach profit? Also, compare your strong and weak sides to figure out, where you can use it like some leverage. It’s a good part of the plan to show which points make us different from our competitors and how can we use them in the future. If you work with it well, it can be a perfect “plan for attack”.
During searching for weaknesses of competitors, don’t forget about your own. For example, you have fewer units of product, but the quality is better in comparison with other participants of the market. Or you are not very good at PR that will create some troubles with communication. If you know your problems, you can sort out them and get profit. Profit, profit, profit. This word will be mentioned thousands of times!
In your business plan, you can detail most of the solutions. For example, you can explain that you’ll spend more money on marketing because the market is overloaded. And the only one decision is to make some noise around your product. A good and successful company should constantly have prospects in the pipeline.
The next step is that you need to explain, what type of corporates are yours? Is it a C, S, or LLC? Or, do you have a general or limited partnership? If there are multiple owners, list them here and give some information about each owner’s background and role in the company. It would show the plan’s viewers more information about people who are responsible for future company deals. Make a list with your employees and describe their responsibilities. If you plan to increase the number of people working on your project, mention it and don’t forget about wasting money on it.
Describe the place where is your team working. If you don’t have a physical place and prefer to outsource — pay attention to it. Sometimes physical coworking is important for some projects, ‘cause people need to communicate a lot in real life to reach the result. List wasting of money for the office and don’t forget to include there everything. From rent to everything which needs you to tun the office. These numbers will appear in the reports of profit and loss.
If you plan to make more than firstly thought, write about it. For example, if you plan to make your company wider and capture some aspects from related sectors. Describe your sales strategy and mention goods that will be available to your clients. Maybe call-center 24/7 or personal manager? Maybe insurance and support of the layer? Do you work at the weekend? Feel free, but don’t forget to write it.
Marketing is one of the most important things in the modern world. And sometimes good marketing can save an awful product. But we don’t speak about marketing qualities here. Just think about marketing ways in your case. Website, business cards, logo. List everything that you have or even plan to create.
How do you plan to increase the number of clients? What’s your target market? Describe your marketing strategy (direct mail, social media, blogging, email marketing, print or radio advertising, etcetera). Will you be doing your own digital marketing or buying insurance leads?
Let’s talk about sales, one of the major aims of every business and company. What is your sales strategy? Why it could be more useful than competitors’ strategies? What’s your advantage? Will you hire special people for sales or have you got “local” employees for this task? How will you grow the audience on different targets? For example, if we start from the CIS region and have great plans for Europe, we need to share in detail our strategy for new sales. Also if you want to buy leads instead of getting them from advertising, mention it.
And the last, but one of the most important parts of the plan is your balance, especially if you are using it for funding or to get assignments. Make sure the amount of money you’re requesting matches the itemized projections in your business plan.
Finally, what do we need:
- Introduce yourself
- Analyze market
- Name targets
- Compare us with competitors
- Make sure that we know for what will we spend money
Wish you the best of luck and hope that your plans will always be as good as at the paper.