Creating a new successful business is not just about a great idea. An innovative product and service can get lost in the crowd if not supported by a holistic business approach. To ensure the success of your new organization, give it a solid foundation. It will take a lot of planning, learning, and patience, but it could make or break your idea. Start the foundation with a comprehensive and detailed business plan.
Why do I need a business plan?
Building a startup can seem like a huge overwhelming challenge, but it does not have to be. Creating a business plan can help you break down each aspect of starting a new business, so you don’t miss anything. It aids you in assessing the success rate of your idea and its execution by seeing all of these aspects clearly. That could also demonstrate the challenges and obstacles your startup could face.
A business plan is also an important part of attaining investors for your project. Any new startup requires funding or capital in order to pull off a powerful first stand in the market.
What are the key components of a business plan?
In order to write a thorough business plan, you must include these essential components:
- Executive summary
- About the company
- Market research
- Products or services
- Management and operations
- Marketing and sales
Let’s dig deeper into these points and guide you through what to include in each.
1. Executive summary
This is the very first introduction to your startup, so it needs to grab the reader’s attention and interest them in what you are offering. The executive summary is basically your entire business plan in highlights. It gives the reader some indication of what your business is all about.
It should be a paragraph or two long including your startup’s name, location, objects, mission, vision, and of course, the products or services you will be offering.
Furthermore, it can be sometimes helpful to complete the business plan then circle back to it with the information fresh in your mind. This will aid you in making the executive summary smart, concise, and to the point.
2. About the company
Now, it is time for the details. This is where the ideas, innovation, and technology behind your business can really shine.
In this section, begin by discussing the type of business you will be starting and what your main products or services will be. Go into the specifics of what makes your startup unique and what value does it offer to its end users.
Next, talk about the location of your startup in detail. Will you occupy physical space or will you run your business online? Mention your plans for purchasing, renting, or creating a space for your team. These are all vital points to investors.
Then, go through your team, their qualifications, and accomplishments so far. It is important to showcase the talents on your team and the style of management you will be leading them with.
3. Market research
The next step in your business plan is your market research. It is key to do your homework in this part since a great product or service does not equal success in the market. So, begin by understanding the market you are about to enter. Make sure there is a need for what you are offering and an audience that is willing and able to pay for it.
But the market is not only customers, it is also competitors. Conducting a well-researched competitive analysis will help you position your company and find gaps in their offering which you can use to your advantage. Through this research, figure out how you can be unique and how you can do what the top competitors do better.
Your research can be through expert researchers or specialized companies or on your own. If you choose to go solo, there are many resources to get information including your local statistics, experts, and news.
4. Products or services
At this point in your business plan, you must further elaborate on your intended products or services. Begin by explaining what you are selling, what problems they solve, and how they solve them differently. Talk about the benefits, features, and unique selling propositions of what you are offering in detail.
Include any experimentation in developing your products or services or any prototypes that you have developed. Demonstrating your offering as clear as possible is super important.
5. Management and operations
Operations is a section where you can set the specific of your organization’s processes. Things like what kind of suppliers will you need, how many team members are required, or what kind of machinery is necessary.
Here are some key sections you will need to cover:
- Supply chain
- Technology and IT
- Facilities and premises
- Contingency plan
6. Marketing and sales
Now, you should approach your marketing and sales plans. In this section, you should highlight how you would like to position yourself, attract customers, and preserve them as loyal friends. A growth strategy is needed to ensure that your business will not only sustain itself but thrive.
You could start by identifying your audience and how you intend on targeting them through the right channels and Custom Writings (a paper writing service). “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”, Lauren Bradshaw, a professional academic writer, likes to repeat these words after Bill Gates.
Also, consider how much you are willing to spend on advertising and where you will be able to get the most return on investment.
With a marketing and sales plan of expected growth and revenue, your business plan can now move on to its final section.
In order to present your business plan, a few important points need to be mentioned. First, state the sum of your startup costs and detail why you need this specific sum. For example, purchasing machinery, renting office space, etc.
Second, talk about your financial projections as you request funding from your potential investors.
You are now ready to present your business plan! This will be your guide to the identity of your startup as well as its future.