If you’ve got a business or start-up, a business plan is vital, especially when it comes to securing funding. Investors want something that they can look at and say, “Wow, this is surely going to head somewhere.” Your business plan should serve as a roadmap for explaining your business. Prospective investors should be able to know what you’re doing at a specific time and the business plan can also reassure them that you’re heading in the right direction.
While there is no one size fits all plan, a lot of experts on business will advise on writing short plans. You need to put some meat on the bone, so to speak. The most important thing is quality, not quantity, so a detailed and high-quality business plan is your gateway to profitability. So how can you create one? Let’s look at how to write a business plan in just seven days.
1. Problems in the Market + Solutions
Whatever market you choose, there is always going to be a problem that causes some painted customer. Problems can be turned into opportunities for business, and a killer business plan will highlight a problem within the market and present a strategy for solving it. If you’re entering a competitive market, think about strategies that will solve problems better than existing companies are solving them. This will give you an edge on your competitors.
2. Understanding Your Customers
Whether or not you can provide your customers with solutions is based on how well you know them in the first place, which is why customers should be a focus when you write a business plan. The best business plans will demonstrate awareness and insight into prospective customers, so it’s vital that you understand them before moving on to any other technical aspects of the plan. Listen to the opinions of others when presenting your ideas, carry out preliminary market research, and do all you can to understand prospective customer needs. The analysis of these customers is what is going to be included within your business plan, and it is what will tie together the problem and the solution.
3. Clarity and Being Specific
Everybody dreams big, but it’s also great to be realistic when you write a business plan. Don’t go overboard and start coming up with far-fetched ideas. Keep your vision rooted firmly in reality and don’t make any wild and exaggerated evaluations. Take the time to really study your market competition and estimate a realistic market size. Your plan should be based around the most solid facts and figures, not just pipe dreams and illusions. It’s great to be realistic, and prospective investors will appreciate this too. Illustrate key ways of how your plan is going to make money for investors.
4. Executive Summary
Coming towards the end of the business plan, it is time to create your executive summary. Really take time with this, because it is a make-or-break point, and if you don’t win over the hearts of potential investors, they will not continue reading your business plan. It is at this point that you need to hone in on the reasons why an investor should go with your business. It’s really important to emphasize what your business is going to do that others in the market have failed to do. Inspiring this confidence in prospective investors is key within the executive summary.
5. Marketing Plan
When you write a business plan, it is also important to present to investors how you’re going to market your business. You want to demonstrate that you can make your business known by as many ideal customers as possible. When presenting your marketing plan to potential investors, come up with a reasonable and competitive pricing strategy. Once you have this all sorted out, potential investors will begin to understand that they can get a return on their money.
The appendix section within your business plan acts as a sort of backup. Appendices flesh out the arguments that are in your business plan in greater detail. It’s important to have this in order to illustrate any financial projections for your business. It may not seem like the most glamorous section, but it does help to provide clarity and confidence in your plan.
It goes without saying that once you’ve completed all of the steps above, you should really go through your plan. Other than dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s, make sure that there aren’t any ideas that you’ve left out. You may only have one chance, and you won’t want to spoil it with careless mistakes.
Business plans present the steps in which you will make your dreams come true. With the tips that we’ve offered you, you’ll be able to write a business plan that demonstrates how your business can make money for potential investors.
About the Author: Mollie Porein is a former career mentor and business expert, with over 7 years of experience working in the financial industry. She now spends her retirement as a contributor for various blogs and as a content writer for essaywriterforyou. Aside from business, she loves cars, outdoors, and photography.