A business plan is the most important document when you’re starting a business. This document maps down the strategy, identifies risks, and crafts a financial plan. It basically helps you test the viability of your business idea.
Unfortunately, not many businesses launch with a formal business plan. This doesn’t mean you don’t get anywhere. You might be able to launch and scale successfully and might as well reach the phase where you start outsourcing your staffing and recruiting needs to providers like Telvista. But had you started with a plan, you could thrive even more!
Writing this formal document can be intimidating. You might be relieved to hear that this document doesn’t need to be lengthy. With some expert tips, you can create one for your business within 30 minutes! Let’s show you how:
1: Keep It Simple
Don’t start by downloading complex business plan templates. Create a lean plan and focus on writing simple descriptions that talk about the strategy. Since you are writing this business plan for yourself, you are free to do things differently.
It doesn’t even have to be in complicated comedic sentences. This way, you will have less pressure. Focus on what you need to know for building a successful business plan. Jot down your goals and objectives and track your progress towards them.
2: Describe Your Business/Company
Who you are and what do you plan to do? These are the two questions that you must address first. You are basically offering an introduction to your business, telling others who you are, how you are different and why would you be a good investment (for potential investors).
It is a useless exercise to be clear about these things even if you are the only one who’s keeping this document for now. Consider this an opportunity to put down the intangible facets of your company on paper (culture, philosophy, and principles).
3: Figure Out Your Value Proposition
Let’s say you are chatting with a friend and they ask you what your business is. How will you describe your business in a single sentence? Here, having a value proposition will help. Your goal must be to communicate the value your business is offering to its customers. This must be done in the most direct way possible.
4: Conduct Market Research
Now it’s time to examine the size of your market by outlining your potential customers. you must narrow down your target market because if it’s too broad, investors might consider it a red flag. To help you out, narrow down your target market based on demographic info such as income, age, location, gender, professional, interest, and education.
5: Market the Need
Every business is either generating a need or solving a problem. What problem is your business solving? What would they even begin buying from you? Sometimes, you are unsure about this yourself. In that case, simply reach out to your customers and ask them what they like about your product/service. If they decide to choose you over your competition, why would that be?
7: Perform a Competitors Analysis
It’s important to examine what your competitors are up to. Deep competitive research helps you identify and determine what other companies are selling. Take the time out and identify your competitors. Learn each and everything about them. This information will help you stand out from the crowd.
In case you need help, ask these questions;
- What type of ads do your competitors invest in?
- Are they getting press coverage? If any, what’s so?
- What are their sales strategies?
- How do they price their products and services?
8: Describe Your Product/Service
Speaking of products and services, the business plan must include a comprehensive description of your product or service. This section must include not just the benefits, but the production process too. In other words, you need to tell the investors how what you are offering is better than what’s already out there.
When describing the benefits of your products, keep your focus on the unique features and translate them into benefits. As you describe the production process, mention where you source your raw materials and how you assemble the product from. Don’t forget to highlight your quality assurance and quality control processes.
9: Create a Financial Plan
When you are starting out, you won’t have any financial Data Analytics, to begin with. However, you must create a financial plan. Basically, you have to project the future. Tell the investors how much you think you will sell. You must also outline the key business expenses as you start your business. The financial plan must also outline the sales goals that you must reach in order to be successful.
On the other hand, if your business has been around for a while, you must have income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and P/L statements.
These simple tips will help you create a viable business plan for self-use in just 30 minutes. You can always refine it later and share the professional document with potential investors.
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