When it comes to starting any business or project, a plan is important. The complexity of the plan will depend on the business itself, but if you don’t have a roadmap to follow, how do you know where you will end up?
Some novice entrepreneurs don’t think that a business plan is important until it is too late. By then they have miscalculated the funds, time or effort that should have been allocated to the start-up. They struggle to survive… or simply fail.
Get Help Putting Together a Business Plan
Putting together a business plan does not have to be hard or expensive. It doesn’t have to take lots of time either – and it can prevent a multitude of start-up disasters. Do it yourself with business plan templates and easy step-by-step instructions. Software written by professionals ensures that you will end up with a professionally written business plan when you’re finished.
If you are seeking start-up money or business partners, your plan is a key factor in getting investors, banks and business people to listen to you. In addition, a plan is like a step-by-step guideline for you to follow as you grow your business.
A business plan is very helpful in showing you start-up costs, what you will need for operating costs and tasks you will need to accomplish in order to reach your income goals. In addition, a plan will help you establish a budget, where you are less likely to overspend and run out of money. One of the biggest reasons that businesses fail is due to lack of funds – you do not want this to happen to your business.
Is a Business Plan Required?
No. Some companies start with a business plan while others do not. Traditionally, companies with plans fair better and succeed faster. Plans can help start-ups save money and avoid common disasters that many unprepared entrepreneurs encounter.
If you want to obtain financing from a bank of venture capitalist, you had better be prepared with a business plan. Many won’t even talk to you without one. If you will not take the time or make the effort to put together a business plan, why should bankers take time out of their busy schedules to listen to you?
Why Would You Write a Business Plan?
- To support an application for a loan
- To raise financing
- Establish a direction for the business to follow
- Define a new start-up
- A written agreement that partners can refer to
- Setting a value on a business for sale or legal purposes
- Evaluation of a new product line or marketing promotion
The Breakdown of a Business Plan:
The focus of a business plan is to convince investors and partners that your business idea will be profitable. There needs to be enough data and research that a lender would feel comfortable putting his or her money on the table. Stick to the point and keep it as brief as possible without leaving out important details.
- Executive Summary: this is a summary of your plan, some compare it to an elevator pitch
- Company Summary: the history and description of the business
- Products (or Services or both): description of your company’s products/services and how they are unique in the marketplace
- Market Analysis: your market data research goes here, plus market growth forecast
- Strategy and Implementation: this is your plan of action, how products will be sold and timeline of when tasks are to be accomplished
- Management Summary: gives information on the key staff members
- Financial Plan includes information on sales, cash flow and company profits
So, What are Your Options?
Hire a Professional
There are experienced business plan writers whom you can hire to handle the writing task for you. However, you still need to provide the writer with the proper information to include in the plan.
Buy a Book
You can learn how to write a business plan from scratch simply by buying a book. There are several available on Amazon, including the 5-star guide is Timothy Berry’s “Hurdle: the Book on Business Planning“, which is a step-by-step guide written in layman’s terms.
You might have already guessed that I am a fan of this option. It’s way cheaper than hiring a pro and it’s faster and easier than trying to put one together from scratch. The time, money and effort spent in pre-planning your company will more than pay for itself in the income you can earn from a smooth-running, profitable organization.
Sample Business Plan Templates:
View sample business plans in your specific line of work. This can provide you with an excellent understanding of likely start-up costs, the kinds of supplies and equipment that are needed, operating procedures and expenses, financial projections and more. You can now use your knowledge to complete your own business plan more efficiently.