What is a Business Plan?
According to Wikipedia, a business plan is a formal statement of business goals, reasons they are attainable, and plans for reaching them. It may also contain background information about the organization or team attempting to reach those goals.
The question oh how to write a business plan is what most people find it difficult. In writing a business plan, there are some factors you must consider and that is what we shall discuss in this article. We shall also provide a free sample of what a business plan looks like.
How Important is a Business Plan for your Small Business
What every small business owners fail to understand is that there are risk involved in every business, whether it is a small scale business or a large scale business, writing your business plan becomes very essential here as it shows that you have carefully analyzed the risk, pros and cons of the business before engaging the business.
Writing a business plan for your small business gives you the necessary focus you need, how to plan for the future of your business, and even taking your business to a wider level especially when seeking third party support to finance your business.
If you are ready to risk your time and resources (human and financial) to kick start a business, we suggest that you write a good business plan or you hire someone to do that for you.
Tools You Need In Writing a Business Plan
Just as a farmer needs a cutlass and hoe to farm, a business man needs his tools to write an effective business plan. There are five tools you will need and these tools are:
- A Book & Pen.
- A Computer with Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet.
- Electronic calculator.
- Different business plan templates.
- A business plan software.
How to Write a Good Business Plan
There are many models you can use in writing a well structured business plan but for the basis of this article, we shall use the universal acceptable format. It should be noted that some aspects of a plan will be more important to some businesses than to others. For that reason, it becomes very necessary to highlight the contents of such plan to fit the business scenario.
A good business plan should have the following, orderly arranged
- Cover Letter
- Title Page
- Table of Contents
- Executive Summary
- Company Profile
- Industry Research
- Sales and Marketing
The cover letter is a formal letter that introduces the business to the reader. It is this letter that sells your business idea to the investors. Here, you try to appease the reader. A secret to writing a good cover letter is to think like the reader. It usually contains the address of the receiver, your address, salutation, body (the well written content), conclusion and signature.
Title Page for the Business Plan
The tittle page spells out the name of the business, date , founder’s name and your business logo (optional). Make sure you keep it simple as ever but professional. Avoid shouty colours in your design of the title page.
NB: The rest are embedded below in the free sample business plan templates.
To have a successful business, please note the following
- Plan a business that can survive and grow with or without you
- Create a vision driven business rooted on core values
- Plan a business that is customer friendly
- Inculcate a strong team to lead your business
- Let your business be seen as a good corporate citizen that is reliable
- Create a target based business and strive to reach that target
Remember, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Drop your questions, comments and suggestions below and don’t forget to share what you have learned.