It’s no secret that planning is the key to success. If you’re going to start a business, you need to create a business plan to help you develop a strategy, identify potential challenges, and manage financial resources.
A business plan is a document that describes a business, its products and services, its operational and financial model, its staff and management, and other factors that affect the business.
A business plan is used for strategic planning, evaluating business ideas, identifying potential investors and partnerships, and gathering information about their target customers, as well as their competition.
Business Plan Templates to Use
There are different types of business plans but two of the most common are the traditional and lean business plans. A traditional business plan covers all the standard business elements and goes into detail one by one, making it longer to write. A lean business plan, on the other hand, is a much shorter version but still manages to include all the important information.
There is no absolute way of writing a business plan. Which template you use will depend on the nature of your business. Craig Allen & Associates has a FREE business plan template you can use to set you up for success.
Handy Tips on how to write a Business Plan
1. Conduct a Market Analysis
The planning process always starts with having the right amount of research and data.
Before crafting a business plan, it’s important that you first understand the market you’re trying to tap into and who your ideal customers are going to be. Start by creating a SWOT Analysis that outlines your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Your market research will help you determine the right products/services to sell at the right time and to the right people. Once you have enough knowledge, you can start setting clear goals and KPIs.
A business’s financial stability plays a huge role in its success. You have to be financially prepared to fund any expenses needed in your business. If you’re looking for finance or investors, they would want to see some financial data and projections in your business plan. Make sure you practice good record-keeping by keeping track of your income statements, balance sheets, and cash-flow statements.
It helps to have a highly-skilled accountant by your side to help you set up financial structures and maintain your business’s financial health.
3. Develop an Operations and marketing Plan
Your business plan should outline the workflow you will implement to keep the business running. If you’re in the retail industry or any industry that requires you to store products, your operations plan should cover your supplier details, production method, facilities, equipment, shipping, and inventory.
Aside from that, you should also consider designing a marketing plan on how you will promote your business and reach potential customers. This can include your branding strategy and the platforms you’re going to use to communicate with your audience.
4. Write an Executive Summary
Business owners often write their executive summary last but not because it is the least important. Quite the contrary, it is an essential part of your business plan as it summarises the main points to help you sell your business to potential investors.
Your executive summary should be able to present your company description, goals and objectives, competitive advantage, and management team using as few words as possible.
5. Contact Craig Allen and Associates
Whether you’re an existing small business owner or someone who’s just starting a business, it’s essential you hire an expert business accountant.
At Craig Allen and Associates, we can look over your business plan, pinpoint what needs to be improved, and provide additional advice that can help you grow your business. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation by contacting our team at 039 558 7316 or emailing us at email@example.com.