If you are struggling to get started on your business plan then the good news is you are not alone! But for those that manage to break through the mental block and complete a business plan, then you will have one of the greatest tools for success in your arsenal.
Here are some top tips for getting started if you are writing a business plan:
Think About Why You are Writing a Business Plan
Before you get started, grab a pen and paper and write down what your objectives are for writing a business plan. If you objective is, for example, to apply for funding or investment, then take time to consider what else you may be able to gain from the writing your business plan.
- Develop a killer sales strategy;
- Understand profit margins;
- Target setting;
- Gain a better understanding of your competitors or market;
- Understand whether your business will turn a profit and when.
A business plan is one of the most valuable resources you can have – among the many benefits it brings a Business Plan will tell you whether your idea is actually profitable, encourage you to look at your margins as well help you have a competitive edge.
Write Down the Sections of the Business Plan You Need to Complete
Knowing what you actually need to produce before you get started can add some clarity and aid your planning of how you get there. Here are the typical sections you need to include in a Business Plan:
- Executive Summary
- Business Objectives
- Company Summary
- Products & Services
- Market Analysis
- Strategy & Implementation Plan
- Management Team
- Financial Plan & Forecasts
Find Any Information You Already Have
If you have been in business for a while you may have an old business plan to hand. Or if you are a start up, you may have information describing your idea or even just a business description on your business Facebook page. These bits may be needed for your Business Plan or even just act as reading material to get you in the right frame of mind.
Make a List of People You Need Information From
If you are feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of writing a business plan, then it could be a sign that you need information from other people to help get you started. For example:
- Products & Services may need investigation with the sales team;
- Financials may need to be prepared once sales planning is complete with an accountant;
- Market analysis may involve historic sales research, time with potential buyers as well as competitor analysis. Again, potentially involving more than just yourself.
By involving other people, their opinions and thoughts you could actually strengthen your business plan.
Set Yourself A Reasonable Amount of Time to Write Your Business Plan
Creating a great business plan takes time. Time to research, investigate, speak to people and then finally to pull it all together into a single document. Allow yourself as much time as possible for this process, after all this isn’t just for the bank or investors, it’s for you as well. It’s your businesses roadmap for success.