Creating Business Plans
Your business plan is an important first step in starting any new venture. Your goal is to provide a detailed description of your new product or service and a concrete strategy for making it a success, while also infusing investors and other supporters with your drive and commitment.
The basics of any business plan include:
• Articulating your business idea
• Communicating your goals
• Analysing the industry
• Introducing your management team
• Distinguishing your business from rivals
• Developing a compelling marketing plan
• Describing your business’s daily activities
• Providing sound financial projections
• Anticipating potential stumbling blocks
“Bringing Your Product to Market”
Providing detailed marketing and operations plans to demonstrate how well you’ve considered the large and small elements of your business’s future daily life. These plans provide you with the opportunity to think through possible roadblocks and solutions and to demonstrate your understanding of the dynamics that both help make the business function and create value for stakeholders.
“Projecting Financial Risk and Reward”
Your financial plan shows your readers the current status and future forecasts of the company’s financial performance. Financial projections need not be exhaustive, but they must be addressed. The financial picture you paint here represents your best estimate of the risks involved and the return on investment, usually over a period of three to five years. Even if you have expert advice, crunching the numbers yourself is a worthwhile exercise. The gritty work of building an income statement and balance sheet will help you determine whether you will achieve your financial objectives.
The substantive information is included at the end of the business plan to provide additional information for the reader without weighing down the body of the plan. This is often where you append things such as: a complete set of financial statements (including assumptions, income statements, cash flow statements, and balance sheets); the technological specifications of the production plan; and the formal résumés for each member of the management team.