Writing your business plan

Writing your business plan

It’s important that every business needs a business plan to guide it through the stages of starting up and managing it. Outlook Business Solutions has one too! Think of it as a guide to help you set up, guide and grow your business. A good business plan comes with it’s benefits, such as creating more options for your business. You might start to see more investors or partners. These partners and investors will want to know that they’ll see a return on their investment and that they are making a good decision by investing in your business. A well-written business plan will do all these things for you, but you are probably wondering, “where do I start?”

The Small Business Administration recommends a business plan that includes:

  1. Business Summary – Explain to investors why your business is worth their investment!  You should include your mission statement, product or service, leadership team, location(s) and high-level financial information.

  2. Company Details – This tells what your business does. Tell them how your business will make a difference.  Explain your advantages over your competitors. This is where you’ll want to show off your company’s strengths.

  3. Know your market – You will need to show that you understand your industry, market and competitors. Who is your target audience? What are commend trends and themes in your market?  What do your competitors do well and how are you going to do it better?

  4. Who is doing what? – Explain to everyone your business structure. Tell them who is in charge of what and who is in charge of everything! You should state whether you intend to incorporate, be a partnership, sole proprietor or LLC. Include a blueprint of key team members.

  5. Service or Product – What are you selling? Explain it in detail and share why someone would want this product.  Also, write about any ongoing or research or development.

  6. Marketing and Sales – This is where you create your marketing strategy. We will go into detail about creating a marketing strategy plan in next week’s blog. 

  7. Funding – This is where you add your financial plans, be sure to give a detailed explanation of everything. From employee salaries or bills to debt or equity. You may even include any plans of selling your business.

  8. Financial Projections –This is where you want to persuade your readers why your business is worth their investment. If you already have a business, you want list any financial transactions over the past five years. 

  9. Appendix – This is where you show the readers any documents pertaining to your business. You may include; credit history, permits, licenses, legal documents or product pictures! Add anything you want to share with the reader, this is an optional section. 

A good business plan will help you get your thoughts organized. A great business plan will provide the instructions for each step of the plan so an investor or lender can feel confident in supporting your business. In order to create a successful plan, be sure to spend a lot of time doing research and formulating a plan that will persuade investors. You should know everything about your business, the industry and your potential customer.

Writing a business plan can be daunting if you don’t have a financial background or are new to this process. It’s important to know that just because you wrote a business plan before, it doesn’t mean that you know how to write one! Be sure to research to know if there are any new aspects to add.   Investors and lenders may require different information than your previous business plan needed. There are many places that you can go to get templates for your business plan. Choose one that works for you and your type of business.

Outlook Business Solutions can help you build your business plan. We know you are busy and can work with you to attract investors or obtain financing. Contact Outlook Business Solutions to learn more about our strategic marketing services.