If you are thinking about starting your own business, you will certainly know that it is not as easy as it may seem. It certainly requires time, money and, above all, good planning. With the help of planning comes the well-known business plan. However, not everyone knows how to write one, or simply wants to do it in the best possible way. If you are interested in how to write a good business plan, this little guide may be of use to you.v
What is a business plan?
As the name suggests, it is a plan for your business. It contains a forward-looking concept for the company's activities, both short-term and long-term, and describes them in detail. It should also include market analyses of the industry and estimated finances needed to start and maintain the business.
Why do you need one?
A business plan is primarily used to structure your ideas. Properly laid out, the information will help you to manage your business in the long term, without additional planning and unnecessary worries. Remember that not having a plan is the easiest way to fail! A well-written business plan is also the basis for obtaining grants or investor support.
What does a business plan look like?
There is no one specific template for a business plan. It should be written in the most plausible way possible without being unnecessarily wordy. Good clarity and retained logic will help you in the process of creating your plan and implementing it in your company's subsequent activities. Here’s how to write it:
1. Project summary
This is an abbreviated version of the entire business plan. It can be called a showcase of the whole further plan, aimed at attracting a potential investor. It is best to write the executive summary after the business plan has been drawn up to ensure that all important information is included. It should include: the name of the business, the names of the owners, the company's development plan, a description of the product/service, customer benefits, expected expenses and profits and, in the case of investments/grants, an overall plan for the use of the funds.
2. Characteristics of the company
It should contain basic information about the company. It should include:
- the name of the company,
- address, area of operation,
- contact details,
- type of business,
- field of business,
- legal form.
3. Product/service description
This is the most important part of the business plan. In it you need to explain what you are offering and why a potential customer would want to buy it. The description has to include:
- the type of product/service you offer,
- the name or names,
- description of how the product/service looks and works,
- the cost of producing your product or service,
- disadvantages and advantages of the product/service.
4. Company management and staff
The company's staff is an important pillar of the company. This part of the business plan must include:
- information about the education and competence of the staff,
- organizational structure,
- the consultancy services used by the company (accountancy, law firms),
- number of employees,
- form and duration of employment,
- wage policy.
5. Market and market competition
In this section of the business plan, you are tasked with describing the market in which your business will operate. You need to include information about the industry, what the trends are, information about your competitors and the group of buyers of the service you provide. It should include information such as:
- characteristics of the sector,
- size and value of the market,
- trends in the market,
- information on demand (its seasonal development),
- an estimate of the number of customers,
- who the customers are,
- information on indirect and direct competition.
6. Marketing strategy
A marketing strategy is the actions you will take when marketing. It is complemented by a sales plan describing how and to whom your services will be sold. The marketing strategy must include information such as:
- how your service will be sold,
- the distribution channel (wholesale, chain shops, direct sales),
- the method of advertising,
- what kind of reaction do you expect from your competitors,
- how you will differentiate yourself from your competitors.
7. Financial plan
This is one of the most important parts of your business plan. You should include the planned costs and revenues of the business. The financial plan is intended to illustrate the overall operation of the business and indicate whether it will be financially profitable to run. The financial analysis should also include prospects for future development. It should include:
- where the money to finance the company will come from,
- he planned income and expenditure of the company,
- expected profits of the company.