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A Short Guide to Writing First Business Plan (2023)

The modern business scene is very volatile, regardless of the industry. There are plenty of opportunities to make money, but you also never know what will happen next year, or what impact global economic changes might have on your organization.

While entrepreneurship is more accessible than ever, more than 50% of organizations fail within their first five years. This is why companies must plan and prepare for all the steps that lead to long-term success.

One of these important steps is to create a business plan. Today we are going to discuss how you can do that.

What is a business plan, by the way?

A business plan is a physical or digital document that outlines business goals and how they will be achieved. It is a roadmap that details the operational structure, finances, marketing, sales, products, etc. Big companies and startups need and use business plans to stay on track.

Companies can use this document both internally and externally. Management can use it to remind themselves where their organization needs to go. At the same time, they can also present the business plan to potential investors to convince them to support the organization.

Even though they help start-ups the most, it’s always a good idea to have an up-to-date business plan that you can rely on to guide you.

Start with the executive summary

The executive summary is the first section of your plan, and it’s an overview of the entire document. It summarizes critical points for readers so they can easily find what they are looking for. Sometimes you will be looking for a specific section in the document, and this first page takes you to that section immediately.

The summary should be concise and clear and encourage readers to skim the rest of the document. It is an essential part of the business plan. It makes the first impression, that’s why it should be well written.

Information to include:

  • Your business opportunity
  • How will you use the opportunity
  • Your business model
  • Target market
  • Sales and marketing strategies
  • Main competitors
  • Financial analysis

Describe your business in detail

The company description part is not mandatory, but it is useful to include it. This is where you can share all the details about your organization. First, focus on the problems you’ve already identified in a target market and how your business will solve those problems.

Dive into the details and list all of the consumers, businesses, and other organizations that you plan to target with your products or services. Discuss the benefits of your services or products and how they will bring success to the organization.

Do you have a better store location, better products, personalized user experience, or key expertise? Include these details in the business description.

Document all potential and market research on paper

Describe your target market and everything you know about your potential customers. Explain growth potential industry and your market. By including this, it will be easier to implement the right marketing and sales strategies to reach customers and convert them.

Describe how your business will be positioned in the market and how it can accommodate future changes and growth. Provide detailed information about your plan to take advantage of the market and attract customers.

Describe the services or products

This chapter is the real heart of the document. It should explain the problems you want to solve, how you plan to do it, the solutions you offer, and how your services or products fit into that market.

Describe your products and services and how they are better compared to your competitors. Which companies offer products or services to solve the same problems? What advantage do you bring to the market?

This is the perfect chapter to describe how your service provides a competitive advantage. List all of these benefits.

Analyze your competition

It is essential to understand your competitors because their presence affects the performance of your own business. Include information on major competitors, the services they offer, their products, their approach to marketing and sales, and their brand image.

Explain what they’re doing right and wrong, and how you can respond to unmet requests or needs. Explain why your business needs to exist in this competitive space and where you will find customers.

Create a sales and marketing strategy

This part of the document should explain how you plan to reach your customers and sell to them. What marketing approaches will you use and how will you sell? Are your products offering something new, higher quality, or are you going to offer lower prices?

Discuss the processes and strategies you will put in place and how it will all work in reality. Explain how your services and products are positioned to take advantage of opportunities, as well as how you can address market threats from a sales and marketing perspective.

Describe your finances

You will need stable and sufficient funding to execute your business plans. Explain where you will get your initial funding and the amount of resources that will be allocated to different aspects of your business.

Discuss the cost of delivering the products or services and your expected return on investment. You need a clear budget to support operations while growing your business.

Here are some aspects to include:

Explain the structure of the company (management)

Investors want to know the team and organizational structure behind a company. Share the people who will fill specific positions and the type of people you plan to hire in the future. List the experience, expertise and training of the employees.

After that, provide an overview of the organization’s history, location, and legal structure. Provide a summary of why this team is capable of bringing your ideas to life and how their capabilities fit into your business goals.

Common business structures:

  • Partnership
  • Sole proprietor
  • S-corp
  • C-crop
  • Limited liability company

Conclusion

These are some of the essentials to include in your business plan. You can use many different business plan templates to create a natural flow and include the most critical sections depending on the industry or target market. Take the time to choose the right template before you start working on this document.