I am going to explain those features that you will find in every good business plan whether for a big company or a small start-up.
An adage says, if you fail to plan, you are indirectly planning to fail. The first stage of setting up a business is to create a plan for the business. A good business plan will help to guard you on how to set up a business and successfully run the business. The main features of a good business plan are very much the same. Whether for a large business or a small business. This does not mean that your business plan must be as long in volume as that of a company as large as Amazon. But it should include the same elements found in the business plan of companies like Apple, Microsoft, general electric, Dangote group, Heir holdings etc.
Executive summary of a business plan provides the reader with an overview of your company profile and goals. People often neglect it, but interestingly, it is the most important part of a business plan. It points out to your prospective investors why your business will attain success within a short period of time using few words. It includes a mission statement, a brief history of your business, highlight of your company’s growth trajectory,the product or services you are intending to thread on and most important, the summary of your business future plan. It should also explain why you areseeking funding.
The market analysis segment of your business plan discusses your industry. It gives a detailed information about your target audience. It describes how the goods or services you intend to render will meet the needs of your target market. it equally discusses the market share you hope to gain, the pricing of your product or services and your product gross margin. It talks about your competitors; who they are, what part of the market they hold, their strength and weaknesses. It equally discusses the barriers to your entry into the market and if there are regulatory constraints that will block your entry into the market.
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The organization of your company is very much important to investors. They would love to know if they are lending to a corporation, a partner, or a business owner. They will want to know who is in charge of the business. The experience they have garnered running such a business, the extent of their ownership of the business and their record of accomplishment.
If it is a company owned by a group of individuals, each member of the team will have to provide a resume, which will be included in the appendix to the business plan. A unique experience, past record of accomplishment, any industry recognition or community involvement, how long they have been involved with your company and their remuneration. Also should be included would be the names of the members of the Board of Directors along with their position on the board. The extent of their involvement with your company,their general background and contribution to the success of the company should all be included.
Marketing and Sales
This segment should discuss your business marketing penetration strategy. The strategy for growing the business once penetration has been achieved. Your channels of distribution and a suitable communication strategy for reaching your target customers. It is equally very important that you include an overall sales strategy that outlines your selling activities.
This segment usually begins with the description of how your product or services affect your customers. It includes the details of the product lifecycle, intellectual property issues and any research and development activities planned.
You will have to provide complete financial information as part of your business plan. It is most important if you are seeking external funding. The financial data will encompass both the historical (company income statement balance sheet) and the company’s cash flow. If possible the company’s cash flow for the last three to five years. It will equally include financial projections, the impact of the new product, the new service and its cash infusion.
Follow these steps and you will see yourself writing an amazing business plan.
Author: Egbo Jerry C.