How To Write Business Plan – A Step by Step guide
A business plan is a draft or a written document of a business’s road map for success – a document that tells what you plan to implement and how you plan to execute.
A good business plan guides you through each stage from start to managing your business. You’ll use your business plan as a road map to structure, run, and grow your business to the next level.
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Business plans can help you getting the right team on-board or the required funding to start your journey. Investors want to feel confident they’ll see a return on their investment through that structured road map. Your business plan is the tool you’ll use to convince people that working with you — or investing in your company — is a smart choice.
There is not any hard & fast rule to write a B-Plan, there is nothing like a right way or a wrong way. All you need is to describe all the needs and key elements involved in your way to business effectively.
Basically, business plans are written in two common formats: Comprehensive B-Plan & Lean Startup Plan
Comprehensive B-Plan Format
You should love to write a comprehensive business plan if you love to plan a more detailed document for your business idea. Once you select the format, you should have to outline your plan in small sections for a more clear understanding. These sections could be :
Briefly tell your reader about your company and its key elements. Include your vision, mission statement, product or service, and basic information about your company’s leadership team, organization structure. You should also include financial information and high-level projections.
Make sure that, this is the section where you have to make your reader know about your company in detail. Define the problem statement, the solution you are providing, consumer behavior, competitors, and every worthy point you can make to describe your company. Boast about your USPs, your strength in the competitive landscape, your team strength, and their expertise.
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Market Analysis (Definition, Segmentation, Size & Positioning)
Before going to tap a market, you should have a good knowledge of that. A proper market analysis will help you to write this section. Define your market, choose a particular segment for which you want to deliver your product/services. Calculate the size of your segmented market and plan a strategy to position your product/services to that market fit. Remember, a proper market analysis will help you only to succeed and also attract investors as per market size & opportunity.
Organization Structure & Team Details
Describe the organizational structure of your business. State whether you have or intend to incorporate your business as an LLP or PVT. LTD or any mode. Use an organizational chart to lay out who’s in charge of what in your company. Show how each person’s unique experience will contribute to the success of your venture.
Product or Service Description
Describe what you sell or what services your company offer. Explain what problem is solved by or will be solved by your product/service. Share the details of IP registration, or plans for IP registrations. If you’re doing research and development for your service or product, explain it in detail.
This is the section where you describe how to attract, acquire and retain customers. There’s not a single way to approach your customers. Your strategy should evolve and change to fit your unique market needs. Describe clearly your marketing strategy as per the psychological behavior (a study that) of your customer.
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Sales Forecasting is something tricky and calculations intensive. You’ll also have to describe how a sale will actually happen. You’ll refer to this section later after you make financial projections, so make sure to thoroughly describe your complete marketing and sales strategies.
Like Sales Forecasting, Financial Projection is also tricky and calculation intensive. You should have to project all your expenses, sales, income before it will actually happen. Make a financial projection for at least 5 years or as per your need. This section also clears, how much investment you need and how you will spend your funds.
Funding Requirement & its utilization
From financial projections, you will get a clear view of your funding requirement and its utilization. Mention key data from that calculation here. This is a great place to use graphs and charts to tell the financial story of your business.
In the appendix, use all the references used, or supported documents asked. Some common items used are references, licenses, credit history, financial summary, legal documents, etc.
Check How to write Lean Startup Plan here.