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9 Steps to Writing a Business Plan

IBF Entrepreneur Online –

Before starting a business of any kind, it is worth generating a business plan. For a lot of new business people, writing a business plan can seem like a chore.  They are used to directing business into the correct path of success. Many million dollar entrepreneurs guided themselves by using their business plans as guides to earning their big fortunes. Business plans play a significant aspect in companies. Even when a company is 10 years old, they still follow a business plan.

Follow this step-by-step guide for writing a plan to get a niche of writing them and to hook the investor’s attention.

Step 1: Start With Vision

 

So, you got a good idea and would like to niche it with a business model? Even if one has no idea at all for business. It is worth thinking of one. It’s a good idea to look at gaps in the market that can easily be catered for, which will sell fast and in vast quantities. So, take a breath and step down a level.

Consider these questions:

  • Do people require or want the product?
  • What will the price of the product be?
  • Who will the product be aimed at?
  • Are there any competitors? If so, how successful are they?
  • What is the game plan of marketing and selling this product?

Step 2: Crafting a Business Plan

Creating a business plan is not that hard. It takes time and dedication (which running a business requires this). Before writing a business plan and starting a business ask yourself: “Where will my funding come from?” and “How much do I need to set up my business?”.

It is always a good idea to decide on the budget by basically, budgeting. Create a spreadsheet with all factors and costs included. This is a guaranteed way to set up an accurate, thought-through and well-written business plan. Then cover these statistics in the program, itself. It is what investors like to see (as we will discuss later in this article).

Step 3: Calculating Revenue

Small companies that use no equipment and are part-time, generally cost around $10,000 to set up. Some others may require more. Prices do vary. On average these small businesses can get a revenue of $78,000 if successful. Some may earn lower; some may earn higher. It is all about planning with a niche. Not to mention the high amount of time and dedication that goes into running a business.

It is a good idea to consider this list of what business plans usually consist of.

  • Balance Sheet
  • Sales Forecast
  • Profit and loss statement
  • Cash-flow statement

Step 4: Find Investors

It goes without that when someone creates a start-up business, he or she is going to lack funding somewhere. Some people take out bank loans as some seek investors. Finding a bank that can provide bank loans can be tricky because of the majority of large corporations and well-established companies.  Banks usually don’t give bank loans to a start-up company; this finding investor is a good alternative. These people can be: relatives, friends, venture capitalists, find stakeholders, but ideal options are accelerators or business incubators, or Futurpreneur’s Start-Up Program that offers financing, mentoring and resources to help entrepreneurs launch or grow their businesses.

Step 5: Business Plans and Investors

 

Investors usually spend countless hours reading through completed business plans. They look for well-written, precise papers to make sure the business opportunity is worth investing in. They try to find the ideal scenario that refines all key value points (this excludes the financial aspects of the business). They more so should talk about what the company has to offer and why it is going great to invest in.

Though, in business plans, it is also essential to add the financial aspects. Include bar charts and diagrams which illustrate the revenue of the business, as well as the calculated gross profit and capital that will be spent. Investors often prefer business plans with these statistics. If they do not contain them, then most investors will ultimately dismiss the program and will most likely throw it in the wastepaper basket.

Step 6: Include Visuals in the Business Plan

No one likes to read long text when evaluating an extended amount of papers. To make the business plan eye-catching. This also includes a logo, as well as illustrations and pictures. Visuals can win over an investor because people often remember pictures more so than text (It’s how humans first recorded information in the cavemen and ancient times).

It is a good idea to hire a professional illustrator, draw illustrations yourself, or include photos that you own the rights to. Don’t include copyrighted photographs, and this makes the business look unprofessional.

Step 7: Make Sure Everything’s Legal

It is always a good idea to make sure all the required legal documents are accounted for. This is highly important in any business, and it is a must to show it in a business plan. Usually, investors do not like it when a company is not entirely legal. (Even if the product is a good idea. To make sure everything is permitted, hire an attorney for legal representation of the business. Someone of this position will make everything legal. And can offer legal advice to the market if problems arise in the future.

Not only that, but there could be numerous owners of the business as there could be one owner. It is always a good idea to decide upon a percentage everyone gets in the industry. In other words, who gets what. Also naming the business is essential. Especially when it comes to legal issues. The name must be original and not similar to another company (otherwise legal proceedings in court could take place. The company could be sued for a lot of money).

Step 8: Keep Things Cool, But Informative

First impressions count! To get a good response from an investor, the first page of the business plan is an essential aspect of the entire paper. Create a page with a title. This is made up of the name of the company, contact information, context page (otherwise known as a table of contents) and an executive summary. Add some information about the business.

Throughout the business plan, keep things smooth and friendly as well as informative and accurate. Such detail includes an overview of the target market. This provides information about the size of the industry, pop cultural trends, and the overall summary of potential success.

Step 9: Get The Product Out There

Including the forms of advertising used in a business plan is a good idea. Every company has a marketing team to promote the business. It is always a good idea to generate a marketing team to get the word out there.  It is worth considering these aspects when developing the product or service. Keep advertising informal and friendly, but don’t go overly casual.

Create flyers. These can be placed in stores, offices and put in mailboxes. These are very good for promoting the business because most people enjoy reading leaflets, especially if the product advertised is something that relates to them. Make sure they are catchy and easy-to-read.

A lot of companies advertise online. This is called online marketing. Some companies use banner ads (via. Google Adsense) which is highly used by many organizations. This form of advertising drives customers to the company website. They are spread on sites all over the internet as well as social media.

As many companies use TV advertisement, this is an expensive form of publication but can be highly effective. The way to do it is to come up with a story that can relate to the customers.

For example, Coca-Cola uses Santa Claus. Many families with children can relate to this fictional figure because children worship this man who supposedly breaks into their house on Christmas Eve to give them gifts. So, in such case, the award is Coca-Cola. Thus,  selling the idea of Coke to infants

As McDonald’s uses a clown, he is a clown that children can relate to because children love circuses. It’s the same form of advertising.

Tips for Writing A Successful Plan

  • Know the Market
  • Find Out The Competition
  • Use Logical Thinking: Write Reasonable Ideas in the Business Plan and when running the business
  • Create A Team: This will allow the business to run smoothly
  • Do not copy other products (without permission)
  • Use Buzzwords to Market the Business
  • Create A Slogan
  • Use Gimmicks: Consumers always love gimmicks. They often sell the product or service very well
  • Don’t provide customers with long documents
  • Avoid overestimating the budget. Keep all budgeting precise to avoid becoming bankrupt
  • If the competition business is going bust, take advantage of this

To help you write your business plan view the free and interactive Futurpreneur Canada Business Plan Writer, designed to simplify the business planning process and allow you to customize your plan while providing tips and examples to guide you as you write. View the Business Plan Writer here.

Source: Futurpreneur

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