If you are earning a degree in business or a related field or even thinking about becoming an entrepreneur yourself, there is no way you can avoid business plan writing.
Every successful enterprise starts with an idea and a solid plan to validate it. Therefore, the academic program puts a significant emphasis on this kind of writing, meaning that you will definitely face this kind of assignment as a business student. And if you are an aspiring entrepreneur, you will definitely need to write a business plan to organize your future venture, drive funding, or find partners.
But how do you do it? If you face this challenge as an academic task, there is a simple solution. You can use trusted dissertation writers and let professionals handle this assignment for you. But if you ever plan to run a startup yourself, you will still have to learn how to write a business plan, and the guide below will help you get started.
But if you ever plan to run a startup yourself, you will still have to learn how to write a business plan, and the guide below will help you get started.
What Is a Business Plan?
Basically, it’s a document created by a company, its owner or an entrepreneur who is just planning to start a company. The document describes the company’s objectives and states how it’s going to attain them. In a nutshell, it lays out a detailed road map to the company’s success, specifying all industry, operations, marketing, financial, and other details.
A business plan is used for a variety of purposes. It is especially useful for startups that need to find partners and investors or secure lending from financial institutions. At the same time, this document must be present in every organization in order to clearly define success and help the executive team stay on the right track to meet established goals.
Business Plan Structure
Before you start writing a business plan (whether for college or your own enterprise), it’s crucial to understand its structure. As you can easily guess, there are many variables in such documents.
Everything from the length to the elements inherent in the document varies a lot from one company to another. So there are really no one-size-fits-all rules for crafting this document. Yet, there are some handy recommendations.
As for the length, it’s recommended to keep this document readable and concise. The optimal length is between 15 and 20 pages. As for the structure, here are the key elements that must be included at all times:
A brief part that outlines the company, its location, leadership, employees, operations, and mission.
Products and services
All details related to the products and services the company is going to offer. It might include product lifespan, benefits to the potential customers, pricing, manufacturing/production processes, patents, etc.
This part provides an in-depth overview of the company’s target market in order to indicate the viability of the business. It can involve clear insights into consumer demand, market share, etc.
This section describes how the firm is going to acquire and retain its customers, what campaigns it will use, and so on.
In this part, firms have to provide financial statements, balance sheets, and other details that will indicate the financial state, targets, and projections.
Finally, the last must-have section should clearly communicate the predicted budget needed to cover the costs of staffing, manufacturing, marketing, and other expected expenses.
The easiest way to get started on a business plan is to find a good template for your document. Once you have it, follow the steps and tips below to fill in your template and craft a viable plan:
Describe Your Company
First of all, craft a detailed company description that answers two fundamental questions: who you are and what you do. In this section, you can communicate your organization’s history, structure, business model, industry, objectives, vision, and mission. Make sure that all statements made in this section are clear and realistic and show the real value of your organization.
Analyze the Market
Once you have a general description, perform the following types of market analysis:
• SWOT analysis;
• Competitive analysis.
Thorough research should help you define and understand your target market, ideal customer profile (ICP), industry trajectory, and major trends. Once you define it all, form a detailed section with the key insights acquired from your research and analysis.
Define Management and Organization
In this section, get into the “inside” details of your company. Tell the readers how your enterprise is organized and how it will be running. Detail the legal and management structure.
List Your Products and Services
In this section, specify what exactly you are offering your potential customers. Make a detailed list of all products or services that you provide. Also, don’t hesitate to support this section with additional details such as market demand for your products or services, benefits to customers, etc.
Break Down Customer Segments
In a good business plan, you want to show that you know your prospects perfectly. To do this, devote a separate section in your document to perform customer segmentation. Tell the readers everything you know about your target customers, including their demographics, pain points, interests, behavioral patterns, values, etc.
Specify Marketing Details
After defining your ideal customers, communicate your marketing strategy. Tell the readers how you are going to promote your products or services, specifying the most promising channels, approaches, and activities.
Get Clear on Operations
Based on your venture’s type, describe the specific functions and operations that will take place in your company. Include information related to the manufacturing, logistics, and other activities that will help you attain your goals.
Break Down the Financial Matter
Tell the readers about the financial needs and goals of your organization. Provide a thorough overview of all expenses that you expect to cover. Also, provide data-driven forecasts on how much money your venture is expected to generate in the foreseeable future.
Craft an Executive Summary
Although this is the first section of your document, we really recommend making it the last section you write. Based on everything that you already have in your document, draft a brief and compelling summary that highlights the key details of your organization, including:
• Vision and goals;
• Products and services (and how they are different from the rest of offers on the market);
• Target market;
• Marketing strategy;
• Current and projected financial state;
• Your team;
• The ask (if you are looking for funding, you have to state how much money you are asking for).
So that’s how you write a successful business plan. Feel free to use this guide to get through this challenge with ease!