The business plan is a fundamental part of starting a new business, and the singular most important document when you are looking for investors. You will significantly improve the chances of your new business succeeding eventually if can take the time and effort to articulate your objectives and strategies in the form of a business plan that is right for the business and looks good to potential investors.
Here is a list of the Top 7 elements that a good business plan should have:
1: Executive Summary:
The first and most important part of your business plan is the Executive Summary, which at first glance shows whether the project is viable or not. It should therefore be clear and compelling.
It concisely outlines the main points in the plan, and describes how the business will present its offerings to the public. The executive summary should include:
- Mission Statement: a brief summary of the business and its objectives
- Company information: introduces the founders/promoters, with their biographies
- Growth projections: outlines and quantifies the earning potentials of the business
- Products or services: describes what products and services are offered by the business
- Financial information: outlines current capital for the company, including any current investors and their respective stakes
2: Company Description:
This section provides additional detail to what is contained in the executive summary. It highlights potential clientele, or customers, what solutions the business will provide, or what void it will fill, plus your advantages over competition.
3: Market Analysis:
Details about how your industry, or market, functions, a description of your target market – how it is structured, and how you intend to remain competitive in your industry
4: Organization & Management:
The focus here is on how the business is structured, how many owners the business has, who will run it, and what are their respective functions and responsibilities. What will be your remuneration and incentive structure?
You may want to use graphs and charts to visually represent this information.
5: Products & Services:
A description of what goods, products or services you are offering to the market, their benefits to your customers and how they differ from those of the competition.
Your growth strategy – how you propose to grow and expand the business in the near and distant future. What marketing channels and tools you will deploy – online and offline – and your budget for this.
7: Financial Projections:
Your financial goals and projections for the business. Outline how the sales and marketing efforts will add up to a profit, plus your earnings and cost forecasts.
Here again is where graphical presentations would help a great deal.