7 Tips On How To Create A Business Plan

Business Plan

Are you finally sure about your business idea? The first thing you should do is create a business plan. A business plan is a great way to make your idea more concrete. It can serve as a blueprint or a road map for you as you move forward with your business.

You might feel like this is just an extra task, but it isn’t. If you don’t have all your ideas clearly charted out, not only will it cause problems in execution, but you might also feel lost midway, or forget the main objectives of your business. Moreover, you need a business plan for the simple reason of getting investors and other people on board with you.

Before we look at the tips to create a business plan, let us take a quick glance at the key components of a business plan. Your business plan should start with an executive summary, followed by opportunity, execution, company management summary, a financial plan, and an appendix.

Every successful business has a detailed business plan, that has served as the pillar for their growing business. So if you want to create a thriving business, sit down, and form a detailed business plan before you get started.

Remember that only a business plan that shows potential can attract investors and stakeholders. Here are seven tips on how to create a business plan that can take your business to new heights.

Have realistic goals and ideas about your business

It is very easy to lose yourself while trying to plan out your business. Optimism is great. But if you plan your entire business only with best-case scenarios in your mind, it might be a problem.

The first thing that you have to be realistic about is the resources available to you.  Measure and clearly chart out your budget and other resources. Don’t mention resources that you haven’t acquired yet.

If you don’t have an accurate idea about things like how much money you have, it is difficult to plan any further. Even if your business is tied up to large suppliers or companies, it is important to be realistic about resources.

The second thing that you need to be very realistic about is setting goals. This point is also related to your personal expectations from your business. If you are just starting off, you can’t expect to sell a thousand products in a day or get a thousand clients in a week.

If you keep unrealistic goals, you will fail to achieve them and begin to feel demotivated. You might also get the feeling that your business isn’t doing well just because of your unachievable goals. However in reality your business might be doing really well.

A key tip that business entrepreneurs follow is the 15 % rule. This rule says that you should always expect things to have a delay of 15%.

So for example, if you think you will be able to sell 100 items in 20 days, then in your plan, you should write 25 days.

Know your audience and tailor your plan accordingly

Before starting any online business, it is crucial to know who your audience is. If you get your target audience wrong, your entire plan will fall apart.

Keep in mind, that audience here refers to the people who will see your business plan and not people who would buy your end product and services.

Your audience could be investors, a potential business partner, a stakeholder, or anyone who will be a part of your business. Since you need all these people and their support for your business to move forward, your business plan needs to spell out the potential of your business.

No one wants to be involved with or invest in a business that doesn’t look promising. But the question is, how to appeal to all these different people in an impactful manner?

The solution is to tailor unique plans for each person you will be presenting to. Start off with making a plan only for yourself, and then out of that basic blueprint start making customized plans that sit perfectly with the interest of your audience.

For example, if you are trying to get an investor, you have to mention the returns that your business promises. You will also need to break up the budget into parts to give your investor a clear image of where their money will really go if they chose to invest.

Research and get information about your competitors

When you start researching, you might see that there are many, or at least a few businesses doing exactly what you want to do. But you don’t have to be heartbroken because of that. It’s natural to have competition.

In a free market, monopoly is not only rare but also harmful. You don’t have to see your competitors as threats.

Look at their business plan, statistics, and other facts and figures about their business. This can give you a fair idea about what to expect, what mistakes to avoid, and what are the things that made a particular business successful. This is the first step of the process.

The second step involves you asking yourself what is unique about your business plan. How is your business going to be different than all the other businesses doing the same thing?

No matter how small, it is always useful to find something unique about your business. This little detail that sets your business apart from clothes is what will get you investors, and later, buyers.

Don’t shy away from mentioning your competitors in your business plan and enlisting what sets you apart. Your investors and stakeholders will like the clarity that you provide.

As long as you are ethical with all your proceedings and planning, you don’t need to worry about anything.

Make sure you can prove everything you say

This is important when you are presenting your business plan to a third party. If you make claims like you can start opening branches in a year, or start exporting your products soon, you have to tell your audience why you think so and what exactly will make it possible.

No one wants a business plan that is only full of fluff and has nothing of substance. So steer clear from using sentences that look nice because they promise a success if you can’t actually prove them to be true in your particular business. One of the best ways to prove all your claims is by backing them with data.

Data is the easiest way to convince anyone. If you want someone to believe what you are saying, try using statistics, facts, and figures rather than words. Don’t try to make claims that you yourself don’t believe in.

If you couldn’t convince yourself about the possibility and plausibility of an option, there is no way you can convince someone else.

Include only information that is absolutely necessary

When you are making a business plan, remember that you will also have to present it to an audience and you will have limited time to do so. Therefore, it is very important that you mention only the important things about your business and nothing extra.

Having said that, do not skip details. Like we discussed, tiny details set you apart from other businesses that might be doing the same thing.

If your business plan can’t lay out the most important points, then it will just be considered fluff. Your audience will want to know things like what you want to sell, how you plan on selling it, what will be the cost incurred in the process of production, manufacturing, distribution, and marketing, what risks your venture entails, who your competitors are, etc.

To make a business plan that is compact and yet contains all the necessary information, you will need the utmost clarity about your idea. When you tailor your plan for your audience, make sure to put details that are important to them specifically.

An investor won’t care about the same things that a manufacturer would. So do some research and find out which parts of your business plan are of interest to which section of your audience. Once you know what’s important, you can proceed to cut out all other unnecessary details

Break your plan into small parts

Instead of looking at your entire business plan as a big blob of ideas, facts, predictions, and goals, it is better to break it into small parts. Let us take an example.

Let us suppose that under your objectives of marketing, want to reach a certain niche audience. Break it into sub-points, or chunks and define how exactly do you plan on reaching them.

Once you start breaking down all parts of your business plan into smaller segments, it starts becoming clearer. It also gives you definable measures to weigh your progress against.

When you are presenting your business plan to your audience, you don’t have to get into the details of each subpoint. But the fact that you have such a clear idea about each step of your business plan will give your audience the impression that you know what you are talking about.

Another huge benefit of breaking down a business plan is that it starts looking possible. Once you start seeing the whole project as tiny achievable steps, it doesn’t seem as daunting.

With each goal that you complete, you will see that your business plan is finally coming together. This can boost your confidence and give you the confirmation you need.

Review your business plan at regular intervals

It is important to go back to your business plan regularly, even after your business is up and running. During the process of getting investors and stakeholders, reviewing a business plan is important for two reasons.

One, to make sure that all the data, facts, and figures mentioned in the plan are the latest information available.

Two, to make sure that your goals, objectives, plan of action, and other such details are still as mentioned in the business plan. If you get new ideas or want to change something about your business, make sure to update it on the business plan.

When your business is up and running, you would need to get back to your business plan to check whether your business is going according to the plan. It is important for you to stick to the plan.

If you deviate from the plan and things go off-track you might have a difficult time explaining it all to your stakeholders and investors. Moreover, if by mistake, you have steered off the plan, a regular review of the plan will make sure that you can get back on track as soon as possible.

So make sure that you don’t just abandon the plan once your business is up and running. It is always a good idea to treat your business plan as the constitution of your business.

Conclusion

If you keep these seven tips in mind while designing your business plan, you should come up with a well-structured, detailed plan. Remember that just making a plan isn’t enough. In fact, it is just the first step.

The next step would be to implement the plan. To make sure that your plan succeeds, it is important that your implementation process is perfect. No matter how well you design your business plan, if you fail to implement it properly, the entire plan will fall apart.

Be confident in your plan. It is the only way you can convince people of the potential of your business idea. Don’t feel intimidated by the competition around you and focus on building your own successful business.

If you are confident in your plan, implement it well, have a good management team, and keep reviewing your plan from time to time you can soon become a big name in your area of business.

So, make that business idea that you have always had into a plan, and start your journey today!

Got a Question?

A business plan outlines your goals, strategies, and financial projections. It’s crucial for securing funding, guiding your business, and demonstrating your vision to potential stakeholders.

Your plan should cover your business concept, target market, competitive analysis, marketing strategies, operational plan, financial projections, and an executive summary that encapsulates the entire plan.

Research your ideal customers’ demographics, preferences, and behaviors. Pinpoint their needs and how your product or service satisfies them. This helps tailor your strategies to the right audience.

Estimate startup costs, monthly expenses, and potential revenue. Factor in a realistic timeline for profitability. Detail how you’ll fund the business, whether through investments, loans, or personal savings.

Regularly review and update your plan to reflect changes in the market, your business’s performance, and new goals. This ensures your strategies remain relevant and adaptable.