When you begin a small business , you have to go through several steps to get all the licenses, funding, inventory, and other things that you need to get your business started. And, for many business owners, creating a business plan is one of those things that can be intimidating from the very beginning. Most business owners don’t even know what a business plan is, much less how to write one. It is a necessity that every business owner needs to have.
Just what is a business plan? A business plan is a set of business goals, ideas, and statements that are set in a formal document and contain everything about your business. This includes how your business is set up, who will run it, what service or good you offer, and even what you expect your business to gross the first year. A business plan will tell anyone all the background information about your business as well as your goals and how you plan to reach them.
Before you sit down to write your winning business plan, you need to determine who you are writing it for. Most business plans fall into two main categories: external and internal. External business plans are created for people that could be potential investors, customers, donors, and even lenders. Internal business plans are created for people that are already in your organization, to help target the goals that you want to reach with your business. It is pretty easy to tell who you need to target your business plan to, and once you know who your target audience is, you can then create the format of your business plan.
There are several different formats for a business plan, and most businesses will have a few of them ready to go in case they are needed. The main format of a business plan that every business should have is a written presentation that is available to show to lenders, donors, or investors that details everything about your business. The second type of format of a business plan that you should have available is an oral presentation that includes visual aids, such as a power point presentation, graphs, charts, or even a slide show. The third type of format is referred to as an “elevator pitch”, which is a short three to five minute summary of your business plan. The last type of format for a business plan is the internal business plan that is used to help employees know what your business’ specific goals are.
So, now that you have an idea of what type and format you need for your business plan, you are ready to get started. No matter how a business plan is written, it needs to be easy to implement in any market. This means that it needs to be specific enough to convey exactly what you want and need, simple enough to be understood by someone who isn’t in your line of business, realistic enough that if a lender looks at it they can see where your business stands, and complete in every different area.
The Right Strategy
To create and implement a great business plan, there are a few things that you need to ask yourself as you’re creating and reading your business plan. These things include:
A) Is my business plan easy to read, or would it confuse the reader as to what our goals are?
B) Is my business plan specific enough that all our goals and needs are conveyed the first time?
C) Is my business plan realistic – or are the goals and financials unattainable or unrealistic?
D) Is my business plan complete with everything that needs to be covered, such as: financials, goals, needs, motivations, etc.?
As you are writing your business plan, make sure that you have the time to concentrate on your writing and how your business plan is laid out. While it can be time consuming, it doesn’t take too much time to create a winning business plan if you simply concentrate on what you need to get across to the reader. A business owner should always have the time to create a business plan since you never know when you might need it throughout the course of your business’ life.
The Salvation Syndrome
When you are writing your business plan, there are a few things that you should avoid. You should not use your business plan to show off your knowledge of your business or industry. This can turn readers off immediately and your business plan will never be implemented correctly. You should also avoid creating a business plan that is too long. A normal business plan ranges from 5 to 15 pages, including financials.
Once upon a time a long business plan was considered favorable, but not in today’s market.
Remember that your winning business plan is to showcase your business ideas and goals, as well as to let your readers know about your business. A great business plan is always written with a specific audience in mind and is easy for that reader to understand. If you are still confused about writing a winning business plan, you can visit the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) web site. They have many great resources about writing a business plan, creating financials, and many other useful tools to help make your business plan one of the best on the market today.
The Happy Ending
Once you’ve created a winning business plan and pledge to make your business successful, you will need support of business loan . Merchant Advisors are prepared to take you to the zenith of success.