In order to give life to business ideas, planning is definitely crucial. Formulating a business plan provides an idea of what a company plans to do. It is quite common to see start-ups face significant setbacks and failures in the first year of business. Although a large portion of running a successful business comes down to execution, having a solid business plan in place can set you up for success.
It is pertinent to decide why you are creating a business plan. The said plan could either be for the industry, to attract potential investors or for funding. Having a business plan will help to see if investors and entrepreneurs see a similar future for the business to be successful.
Elements of a business plan
A business plan typically constitutes around 15-20 pages of information detailing various parts of your business. The format of a business plan should include the following:
(i) Executive Summary
- A brief explanation of the fundamentals of said business and financial requirements
(ii) Business Description
- An insight into the business type and agendas
(iii) Market Strategies
- An analysis of the target market and subsequent information on size, structure and growth potential
(iv) Competitive Analysis
- An introspective brief on the strengths and weaknesses and competitive strategies
(v) Design and Development Plan
- In the case of product development, a plan describing development course and structure
(vi) Operations and Management Plan
- Day-to-day inner working of business – key work personnel, facilities, suppliers, inventories and legal environment
(vii) Financial Factors
- Data including personal financial statement, expenses, capital, projected cash flow, and profit and loss analysis
Keep in mind to formulate different business plans based on your target audience. For a business to have a steady growth trajectory, you must keep detailed and frequent reviews of advancements. The business plan should include a foresight into the future course of action. Remember to maintain realistic financial estimates and always present your idea with statistics and facts.