According to various research studies, entrepreneurs who write business plans are more likely to succeed. If you’re debating starting a new business or pitching your idea to potential investors, writing a business plan can improve your chances of success. Keep reading below for more tips on how to get started with your business plan.
Start with an Executive Summary
This part of the business plan gives a general overview and summarizes the key points of your business. This is the most important part of your business plan. The executive summary is the perfect opportunity to entice your reader to continue reading your entire business plan.
As you begin writing the executive summary remember to answer the following questions:
- What is your mission statement?
- What is your business model?
- Who is your target market?
- Who is your competition and how are you different?
Some people find it easier to write this section of their business plan last after reviewing all the other components of the plan.
Break Sections into Separate Tasks
Writing your first business plan may seem like a daunting task. One way to overcome this is by breaking each part of the plan into smaller components. Doing so makes the process more manageable.
The typical business plan includes seven components which are:
- The Executive Summary.
- Company Description: this should explain what your business is and goals.
- Products and Services: describe your product or service and include benefits.
- Market Analysis: include your competitors, outlook, and statistics.
- Strategy and Implementation: go over your marketing strategy and how you plan to implement it.
- Organization and Management Team: include an organizational chart of departments and key employees.
- Financial Plan and Projections: show historical financial data. It’s recommended to work with an accountant to provide accurate financial analysis. If you’re looking for an accountant, FINSYNC’s network of bookkeepers and accountants is a great resource. It’s free to get matched with an accountant based on budget, proximity, and business objectives.
Know Your Competition
Unless you are looking to create a new industry, almost all businesses have competitors. Talking about competition is not something you should avoid discussing in your business plan. In fact, investors tend to trust business owners more when they see you have a plan to differentiate yourself amongst competitors. Take this opportunity to create a long-term strategy focusing on how you’ll acquire potential customers.
Keep It Simple Yet Powerful
Most business plans are 20-40 pages long. Consider adding a table of contents. Investors will appreciate this as they won’t have to go page by page to find a specific piece of information. Try to keep your language simple and use a readable font and colors. While pictures and diagrams are a great addition, consider limiting the amount of graphics. You don’t want to overwhelm your audience with too much at once.
Writing your first business plan is a step in the right direction. You’ll now have a clearer idea of what your goals and objectives are. For more tips and tricks for your small business, check out our blog.