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When starting your own business or preparing to take your already existing business to the next level, one thing you will need is a clear and realistic business plan. According to Investopedia, a business plan is “a well-written document that explains in detail how a business – usually a startup – defines its objectives and how it is to go about achieving its goals. Simply put, a business plan lays out a written roadmap for the firm from marketing, financial, and operational standpoints.”
Before you start writing your business plan, it is best you spend some time (days or weeks) collecting important information and creating financial estimates for your business. Another area you need to address in your business plan is your customer opinions of credit companies. To many people, this might sound off, but it is necessary for the future if you are looking to give out or get credit facilities.
In the same vein, visiting online review websites such as ReviewsBird.com can help you to find honest and independent reviews about companies that already operate in your service areas so that you use their operations to develop your own plans and strategies, as these will serve as your competitors once you commence operations.
In the rest part of this write-up, we shall be explaining some valuable tips for an effective business plan.
When starting your business plan, you may have the urge to go straight into your proposed strategy which might include evaluating your method of production, the market segments, and studying your competition – but do not do that yet. Though they are important features to include in your plan, you should first articulate a broad vision that can be adapted once you have identified your specifics.
Have an end goal in mind when writing the plan? Ask yourself what you want the business to do; what the business will look like? How do you want it to operate in the next two or five years? Answer these questions to define your vision.
Know Your Audience
When writing a business plan, it is important that you know who your audience is, and understand them properly so that you can identify what they need. The main goal for designing a business plan has less to do with the product or service you hope to offer and more about how you intend to deliver these products to your customers.
Form over Substance
If your business plan looks good but lacks a good foundation in facts and research, then, have not got it right! Though relevant graphs and pictures might have a place in your business plan, ensure that you make use of them sparingly. Bear in mind that it’s not some middle school project, it’s the real world.
A Harvard Business Review study claimed that the more elaborately crafted the document, the more likely the venture is to fail. This is not to say that your business plan should look like it was done out of a 1950’s typewriter, but focus more on the content than making it a beautifully designed term paper.
Answer Difficult Questions
When writing your business plan, ensure that you answer difficult questions that address challenges you might have to face in the future. This is because potential investors funding you will be interested in these questions and the answers you provide to them. Be open to self-scrutiny and be committed to making a well-thought-out business plan
Remember, It’s Just a Plan
Finally, while your business plan is largely seen as an important introduction to your venture, note that it is by no means set in stone. Bearing this in mind, regardless of the content of your business plan, stick to the factors that matter the most; feasibility, viability, and desirability.