When starting out and developing a business plan, it’s important to remember that the form of the business often follows its function. With this in mind, every business owner should have at least a clear business plan that accurately sets out the needs of the business. This is apparent for any business whether the emphasis is starting a new company, raising investment funds, or managing an existing business.
All successful entrepreneurs when starting out with a new business will ensure they have an effective and well-prepared business plan. Business plans allow business owners to have a clear road map for their business no matter what the future obstacles maybe.
Most business plans are around 20 to 30 pages and are written in a way that is easy to read in simple business language. The business plan typically contains bullet points, tables, and financial projections to clearly display the main highlights of the business. Some of the main reasons why you need an accurate business plan can be found here. If you are wondering where to start writing a business plan, below are some of the core elements needed to create an effective business plan.
#1 Executive Summary
The executive summary is arguably the most important part of your business plan. The reason being, many potential investors most likely will glance at the executive summary first to decide whether the business is of interest to them. When creating the business plan, you will need to ensure the executive summary is written in a way that the reader wishes to stick around and look further into the plan. This is where the unique selling proposition (USP) of your business is presented. It also contains a quick summary of the team, marketing strategies, and financial projections. The executive summary should be concise and under two pages. It should have the grab so that readers can gauge the business potential without going through the entire business plan.
#2 Business Description
The business description will be where you provide an overview of the current business or proposed venture. This is where the business structure is outlined and how the initial ownership will be divided among founders. This section of the business plan will include the plan for the business, its legal form, with further information relating to the history and prior performance of the business (if any). This section also contains products and services, mission and vision statement, and location of the business.
#3 Market Analysis
A market analysis is another crucial section of a business plan. This section presents your potential target market, its size and anticipated growth over the next five years (outlook). It also describes your target customers, competition, key success factors, regulation, and barriers to entry. The aim of the market analysis in a business plan is to show that there is an opportunity for the business in the current market.
#4 Management Team
In this section of the business plan, you will need to name and offer insight into the background of each member of the team. This is an opportunity to show how the combined knowledge and skill set of the team can be beneficial to the company. Potential investors will be looking to see if the management team has the right skill set and is capable to get the business off the ground.
#5 Financial Plan
A good business plan needs to include a financial plan that outlines the financial structure of the business. A financial plan breaks down the financial strategy and projections for the future. This section of the business plan should feature easy to follow financial analysis in the form of tables, charts and graphs. In the financial plan, business owners need to demonstrate how this business strategy supports projected growth. Financial reports need to be included that clearly show projected income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements for up to 5 years.
Business plans serve as a road to success! Looking for a Vancouver-based business plan writer? Contact me here, and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have about your business plan requirements.