How to Write a Great Business Plan. To discuss how we can help you with your business plan and strategy, call us toll-free at The Addictive Business Plan: While the average business plan ranges from twenty to thirty pages in length; on average, investors only read one page of each business plan they receive.
Obviously, for a business plan to receive funding, investors have to be encouraged to read the entire business plan, and then take additional action such as setting up a meeting with the company's management. But before you begin, if you're scratching your head wondering "How do I make a business plan? There are options available for both choices, and articles available here to help you decide. In figuring out how to get investors to read more than the first page of a business plan, soap operas quickly came to mind.
Soap operas are very effective in getting viewers to keep watching over time. They do this by making their content addictive. That is, they have cliff hanger episodes, they pique the interest of viewers, and they make viewers eager to learn what will happen next. By making their business plans addictive, business plan services entice investors to want to learn more and best position companies to reap an investment. So how do you make a business plan addictive?
They key is to bring up, in the Executive Summary, exciting factors regarding why the venture is a great investment opportunity and then further substantiate each of these factors in the remainder of the plan. Such factors include how and why your company is unique; why you have a sustainable competitive advantage; why market trends support your vision; why your exit strategy will provide a significant return to investors; and why management is uniquely qualified to execute on the opportunity among others.
But a business plan is not only for start-ups or businesses seeking investment or loans. A business plan can also be used by any business—no matter what industry, location, or size—to formalize a set of business goals and outline the operational and financial strategy for meeting those goals. A formal business plan can be a vital tool for running a business, setting out sales forecasts, marketing plans, and cash flow statements that can be revisited and updated every month.
It's a way that different people can work together on a team," Berry says. Humans like to have a way to measure themselves and track their own progress toward goals rather than being completely subject to someone's guess later as to how they've done.
Setting Realistic Sales Projections. These are about as valuable as the paper they're printed on, says Berry. The reason is that each business is unique and, therefore, each business plan should be a unique document to be truly worthwhile to the business.
A business owner should also be fully invested and fully aware of every aspect of the plan. That said, there are some general guidelines and structures that most business plans should follow. Lay out the text simply using an easy-to-read font, in an obvious outline, with a table of contents and topic headers.
Include charts where appropriate, and appendices for monthly projections at the end of the business plan document in a 'landscape' layout. It should be no more than 30 to 40 pages in length, excluding supporting documents. Pinson recommends starting a business plan with a cover sheet stating the principles of the business, the name of the business, and the address of the business.
She also suggests following with a table of contents to provide a quick reference guide to the topics covered in your plan. The following are recommended components of your business plan, although the order in which you write and present these sections can be subject to change:.
You may want to include supporting documents to back up statements or decisions you've made. These should be included in a separate section. These supplemental materials might include resumes of your managers, credit reports, copies of leases or contracts, or letters of reference from people who can attest that you are a reputable and reliable business person.
The Executive Summary as a Guiding Light. Build in metrics to your business plan so that you can use the document internally to help manage your business going forward. Berry recommends that business executives review the business plan regularly to see if they are on track with expectations or to revise those expectations going forward. Planning is a continuous process. Berry advises that executives revisit the plan once a month. A business plan should not be solely about strategy; include specifics like who's responsible for what, when it happens, how much your products or services cost, the sales your business will generate, etc.
Business planning is about what's going to happen. Fill your plan with metrics, measurements and information you can later review. One good test of this part of the plan is whether or not you've actually implemented it.
Always include cash flow projections, Berry says. Profits are nice, but you spend cash, not profits. It isn't intuitive, but the math and financial principles involved are not that hard when you lay out your cash in logical order. Planning for an Economic Rebound. Small Business Administration Government-sponsored website for writing a business plan for small and mid-sized businesses. The following are recommended components of your business plan, although the order in which you write and present these sections can be subject to change: This is the abstract of your business plan, a summary of everything you will say in greater detail in the ensuing pages.
It spells out the content and goals of your plan, hitting all the highlights. This section is key if you are seeking outside funding as it introduces possible investors to your business. Be sure to include background about your company, the market opportunity, your capital requirements, a mission statement, an overview of management, competitors, your business's competitive advantages, and a summary of your financial projections over the next three years.
The company overview is designed to provide more information about your business, why and when it was formed, its mission, business model, strategy, and any existing strategic relationships.
Basic Business Plan Guidelines Writing a Business Plan will probably take a lot of time. Up to hours or Business Plan Outline Cover Sheet: Business Name, Address, Phone Number, Principals Executive Summary or Statement of Purpose Table of Contents Section One: The Business.
The following pages will describe in detail the seven essential sections of a business plan: what you should include, what you shouldn't include, how to work .
Oct 23, · 3 rules for writing a business plan: 1. Keep it short. Business plans should be short and concise. The reasoning for that is twofold: First, you want your business plan to be read (and no one is going to read a page or even page business plan)/5(). We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us.
Jan 20, · To write a business plan, start with an executive summary that lays out your grand vision for your business. Follow that with a section that describes what products and 95%(22). Write your business plan with the #1 online business planning tool. Writing a Business Plan. Our advice is to always start with a simple, one-page business plan—a Lean Plan. The first article in this list explains exactly how to write that kind of plan and has a link to a free downloadable template as well. If you’re looking to write a.