According to business news channel Bloomberg, 8 out 10 businesses fail within the first 18 months of their genesis. A recent study states that the businesses which started with a proper business plan and followed them perfectly had double the chance to successfully improve their businesses over time or obtain the required capital when compared to those who didn’t have a business plan.
It’s not actually the plan that is important, but the planning that goes into it that makes all the difference. A successful business plan is necessary for all types of business, both profit and nonprofit organizations require it.
According to the US Small business administration, A business plan is an essential roadmap for business success. This living document generally projects 3-5 years ahead and outlines the route a company intends to take to grow revenues. They can be just a few pages to hundreds of pages long based on how much detail you want to add.
Create a Successful Business Plan
A business plan should have a few basic elements in it to be an effective document. It includes –
1. A brief summary and a description of the business.
2. Basic analysis of the market conditions, the competition parties and the market positioning of your brand/business;
3. Your organization’s vision, mission and its objectives;
4. Strategies you would handle within your organization;
5. An outline plan of how you are going to develop the products and services which you would eventually sell;
6. Financial projections for different time periods;
7. An outline of all the possible risks and opportunities involved;
Writing a business plan might seem daunting in the beginning, but it isn’t a very difficult proposition. If you are familiar with your business and are hoping to make a mark with it, writing a business plan becomes crucial for its success.
Let’s discuss a few sections in detail
It’s an overview of your business and its values. This section explains the potential reader the why and what of your company and also where you are headed with it and what makes it special in the market.
Give a brief note of your firm’s history, management’s unique strengths, your assets and liabilities. If you are established, give a list of your products, services, or programs that you offer. Include your financial roadmap as to how you will sustain the company.
Organization and Management
This segment should deal with your firm’s internal organization structure, information about the stakeholders, brief profiles of the top management including their qualifications. You will be required to list the people in your company board and their holding on the board as well as their terms.
In this segment, we will be explaining what are the marketing strategies we will be handling to market your company’s products. Your comprehensive marketing strategy, should include your marketing strategy and simultaneously your sales strategy as they go hand in hand. The sales strategy deals with how you plan on actually selling your product. It’s the art of turning leads to sales. Marketing and sales should work together for optimum results
Before starting with this part, you should analyze the market potential and set clear targets for your company and the products you sell. This segment should include historical data of your company including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements for every year you have been in business to understand the trajectory you have taken with the company.
Services and/or Products offered
This segment of your business plan deals with your service or product that you offer. Emphasize the benefits for your potential and current customers when they use your products and their value proposition. Describe your product/service in detail along with their lifecycle and any intellectual property you might own with regards to it.
You can also list and describe the products that you might produce in the future and how you plan on doing so. If you have any copyrights, trademarks or patents secured for your organization, you will have to definitely list them.
It’s Very important that you present your business plan precisely and effectively as well. When you have developed a detailed business plan, you should be able to convey it to potential investors or clients in a convincing manner.
You can make use of digital tools like Slidecamp to effectively present it to the target audience and this would seal the deal.
We hope this guide was helpful to you to get a better understanding of what a successful business plan should be. Let us know if you have any doubts and we will be glad to help you out.