What Is A Business PLAN?
According to Wikipedia, a business plan is a formal statement of business goals, reasons they are attainable, and plans for actualizing them. It may also contain background information about the organization or team attempting to attain those goals.
It is very important for every entrepreneur or organization to have a comprehensive business plan before starting out, this helps the organization or individual to avoid pitfalls which could affect the smooth operation of the business. Now that you perfectly understand why you need a business plan and you’ve spent some time doing your research and gathering every useful bit of information needed to create one, it’s time to take action and put your ideas down on paper.
In this article, we are going to take a very close look at several key factors to consider when writing a business plan. The necessary things to do and how and how best to do it.
Inside the general outline of the business plan, the executive summary should come after the title page. The summary should explain in great details to the reader about what you want. This is very important. All too often, what the business owner desires is buried on page eight. Clearly define what you’re asking for in the summary.
The business description usually begins with a brief but concise description of the industry. When describing the industry, take your time to discuss the present outlook as well as future possibilities. You should also provide valuable information on all the various markets within the industry, including any new products or developments that will make or mar your business.
Marketing strategies are the result of a well comprehensively carried out market analysis. A market analysis enables the entrepreneur to become familiar with all aspects of the market so that the target market can be defined and the company can be well positioned to take it’s own share of the market and enable it rake in sales.
Operations & Management Plan
The operations and management plan is designed to describe just how the business functions on a continuous basis. The operations plan will discuss the logistics of the organization such as the various responsibilities of the management team, the tasks assigned to each department within the organization, and also the capital and expense requirements related to the day to day operations of the business.
Design & Development Plan
The purpose of the design and development section in a business plan is to provide investors with a detailed description of the product’s design, chart its development within the context of production, marketing and the company itself. It also helps to create a development budget that will enable the company to reach its long-term goals.
The purpose of the competitive analysis is to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors within your market, strategies that will provide you with a distinct advantage, the barriers that can be developed in order to prevent competition from entering your market, and any weaknesses that can be exploited within the product development cycle.
One of the tested methods of determining how competitive how competitive a target market is, it’s by using the “SWOT ANALYSIS“. This method is further broken down and explained below;
- STRENGTH:You need to identify your strong points and build on them, this would help you compete favorably among your competitors.
- WEAKNESS:Every one has their own weakness. If you can identify yours and take proactive measures to strengthen, it would give you a fighting chance in the ever competitive business terrain.
- OPPORTUNITIES:Opportunities are abound in their numbers, there is always something new to be done. An untapped goldmine. Discover opportunities and set to work, put in effort and make breakthroughs even before your competitors can have any idea about what you’re doing
- THREATS:Just like opportunities, threats are very likely to surface in any business environment. Threats could be in different forms, they can come in form of rival organizations, incompetent employees and poor organizational structures.
Simply put, when applying the SWOT analysis, Use your STRENGTHS to cover your WEAKNESS and make good use of every OPPORTUNITY to nullify THREATS.
This section is always at the end of the business plan, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important than up-front material such as the business concept and the management team. The financial aspects of a business plan, helps you have a clear cut idea on the total cost you would need to set up.
When writing your business plan, endeavor to use plain simple language to enable your audience(readers) understand it properly. Avoid the use of slangs and colloquial terms, just keep it SIMPLE & straight to the point