So you have decided to start your own business and have heard that you need to write a business plan, maybe you do not know where to start or what should be included.
Well the first question to answer is "what is a business plan?"
Simply put a business plan is a tool used to sell yourself and your idea to investors.
Your business plan should show any lender how they will be repaid with interest while convincing them that there is a good market for your business and you are the person who can lead this business to success.
Your investor will be looking for evidence that there is an opportunity in the market for your idea, you should be able to demonstrate this opportunity by providing evidence of suitable market research. If you have a strong track record in this particular market use your past achievements to convince them that you will be able to achieve similar profits in the future.
What is in a business plan?
Analysis of the company and industry
Marketing plan – including a break down of your customers and competitors
Description of the management team
Financial plan – include financial forecasts here
Risks and opportunities – SWOT Analysis could be put here
Appendix – for further detailed information.
Keep your plan structured and to the point. Try not to write an overly detailed product description, remember most of potential investor will not have a technical knowledge of your product and should be able to understand your product without being bamboozled. Technical descriptions can be added in your appendices.
Business plan templates
There are plenty of templates in the market that can save you time and help you structure a well formatted business plan that looks professional. However not all will suit your needs and it is very easy to miss out critical information if youre too heavy on them.
Use a spell checker, you want to look professional not incompetent
Make sure your financial forecasts are realistic, possibly seeking the help of a qualified accountant to help you with this.
Set targets that are measurable but achievable.
Try not to use too much jargon, it will only confuse investors that are not well versed in your industry.
Finally good luck with all your future business endeavors.