Writing a business plan is a task that a business and investing company should do carefully, as before too long, it will become a part of your expansion, operations and/or marketing plans. Writing a professional and prosperous business plan will be a major step in pushing your company towards success. Here is a quick guide to what is a business plan and how to write one.
What is a Business Plan?
The goal is to break your business down into logical and functional steps, which is sure to make them as manageable as possible, thereby, making the rest of your plan easier to follow. That is what a business plan is all about: break down your business into logical, functional stages, not letting the structure get too complicated.
How to Write a Business Plan
The business plan must be written in the format of a five-step pyramid, like the chart below. There are also three other templates, which are the Microsoft Word, Excel and WordPerfect PowerPoint. You may want to check with your financial institution, such as a bookkeeper, accountant or another professional, to make sure that you are not setting yourself up for any possible errors in the data base. Some business plans are not formatted as they should be; while some need to be revised often.
First Steps of a Business Plan
Step one should be to create a clear vision. The vision is essentially the theme of your business, and it must be very clear. If it is not there, the remainder of the plan will not be able to help you. Furthermore, if you wish to have people visualize your business, make it something related to yourself. The visual representation will help you tell your story; a picture is worth a thousand words, and so the more exciting the story, the more likely it will be recognized.
The second step is to design your key messaging. Make sure that your key message is concrete and logical. Some ideas that your marketing campaign should include:
- Your salient features
- Your unique point of view
- Your own inner goodness
- Your people
- Your product values
- Your customers
- Your sale processes
How to Tell the Story
Next, you need to figure out how to tell your story. Making sure that the stories are given context is important; that is why it is so important that you prepare an outline, and that outline should be interactive; considering various aspects, while determining how to stand out from others. Take a page from those of the best business storytellers, such as The Social Network, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, which make storytelling very efficient.
Step three is to determine your sales approach. This is where your website and social media could have a very large role in how customers decide to consume your business offerings. By deciding how to market yourself, you should also decide which marketing technique works best for you.
Finally, the goals and objectives of your business are very important, as they are the main reason for the purpose for creating a business plan. The specific goals have to be clearly articulated and defined. Going down the list will give you the coordinates of what you want to accomplish.
It is possible that you may need to write a business plan every year, even though your business is not expanding. Also, writing a business plan may involve numerous times that you may end up spending on it. The cost of the materials and the time that goes into preparing it will cost you money. Although you won’t have much time left for you, making these expenditures may be unavoidable, since the business planning is very important.
How to Avoid Any Errors in a Business Plan
There are things that you can do to avoid any blunders in your business plan. You could do the following:
You can save time by organizing your data in a more logical manner. Prepare an outline, a description of the overall business, and include the purpose of your business in simple language that will be understood.
Research the business
You can also research your target market; this will help you make up your mind about who your ideal customer is.
Read all the competing business strategies
After you find out what you think your business should be doing, you can then determine how to go about implementing it.
In the end, success in a business requires more than just executing a business plan and improving the value of your business plan. It is, however, essential to do a good job of putting the process in writing. This is what helps you to stay focused and consistently improve the quality of your business.