Business Plan Writing
Graduate and MBA students are frequently asked to write a business plan. Your professors want to familiarize you with writing a good business plan, as it is a common task in the corporate world. When you know the basics of writing a business plan from your academic level, you will have an easier time writing one while in the corporate sector.
What is a Business Plan?
This is a formal document that gives information about the financial and operational objectives of a business. It is essential to develop a perfect business plan. Proper business planning is the initial step in starting a new enterprise. It is a systematic and continuous procedure that includes establishing the services or products.
In the early stages of business planning, you should determine the type of business you want to start. After that, decide on other issues such as products, services, or location. Next, evaluate your target market’s demand for particular goods or services. Do not forget about financial predictions and performing a competitor assessment.
When creating a business plan, make it flexible as it will be easy to modify depending on changes in the external environment.
Writing a Business Plan
There are four steps to perfect writing a business plan:
Step 1: Identify a Business
The first thing to do when writing a business plan is to know the kind of business you intend to launch. This step is where you decide the type of goods or services you want to introduce in the market. Here, you are also required to make other essential decisions relating to location, funding sources, selling, marketing, operations, etc. You should also create business objectives to help you make crucial decisions. Clear business objectives will help in formulating the rest of the business plan.
Step 2: Competitor Evaluation
Here, it would help to implement a survey to gather information about your competitors. After you’ve gathered enough information, properly evaluate their strengths, weaknesses, strategies, etc. You should also evaluate your product’s strengths and weaknesses based on the information you obtain. In the data analysis stage, concentrate on evaluating pricing strategy—demand, supply, trends, etc.
Step 3: Define the Capital Expenditure
It is essential to determine the capital expenditure needed to establish the business. Here, you need to design a flexible budget for starting the business. When preparing the budget, determine the money needed to establish a new organization. Include a plan for investing in a machine. For example, allocate money to buy machinery, furniture, raw materials, etc.
Step 4: Identify the source of Funds
After you’ve successfully determined the funds needed to establish the business, you should now identify appropriate sources of the funds. For example, an entrepreneur can obtain a business loan to help launch their business.
Structure of a Business Plan
To write a perfect business plan, include the following:
When crafting a business plan, you should provide a summary of the business idea. Also, provide details on the source of the idea and clearly explain your business concept.
In your business plan, give a brief description of your business. Specify how the business will make profits and define the business organizational structure.
A business plan should also contain information on the tools and techniques you will use to promote the business.
It is important to include information about how you will gain a competitive advantage over your competitors.
You should include information on various business functions you intend to accomplish your business objectives. Moreover, have some information on how you will develop your goods or services.
It is essential to list the sources from which you will obtain funds. Provide in-depth information about how you will use the funds. Be specific on how much money you will allocate to various business needs. Equally important is an estimated cash flow state and a projected break-even analysis are equally important.
Conclude your business plan with a suitable conclusion and bibliography part. This is the place you list your sources, journals, and studies implied in the business plan. You may also discuss the future potential and prospects of the business plan in the concluding paragraphs.
You may also include additional annotation if you have interesting tidbits for your reader. Follow the Harvard or APA referencing style as they are more suitable for business tasks.
Should a Business Plan have Charts and Tables?
A business plan should include pie charts and bar charts showing the numbers. It is simple for investors, your team, and you to digest and visualize complex financial information. The most significant numerical analysis in the business plan is the cash flow, and it should not miss a standard cash flow table or statement. A standard business plan should also have a balance sheet, an income statement, and a sales forecast.
How long should my Business Plan Be?
A simple business plan should be 15 – 20 pages. The length of a business plan, however, depends on your writing objectives. For instance, a business plan to attract investors should be detailed, whereas one meant to expand your business or share your ideas can be relatively short.
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