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Business plan guide What is a business plan and why do I need one?
A business plan is a written document that describes your business, its objectives and strategies, the market you are targeting and your financial forecast. It is important to have a business plan because it helps you set realistic goals, secure external funding, measure your success, clarify operational requirements and establish reasonable financial forecasts.
Preparing your plan will also help you focus on how to operate your new business and give it the best chance for success. Securing financial assistance to start your new business will be directly related to the strength of your business plan.
To be considered a viable candidate to receive funds from a financial institution or investors, you must demonstrate that you understand every aspect of your business and its ability to generate profit.
A business plan is more than just something to show lenders and investors, it is also necessary to help you plan for the growth and progress of your business.
Listed below are examples of questions to ask yourself when writing your business plan: How will I generate a profit?
How will I run the business if sales are low or if profits are down? Who is my competition, and how will we coexist? Who is my target market? What should be included in a business plan?
Although business plans can vary in length and scope, all successful business plans contain common elements. Business plan guide ontario following points should be included in any business plan: Executive summary business description Marketing and sales strategy of a business plan Your team Financial forecasts of a business plan Other useful documentation The executive summary business description The executive summary is an overview of the main points in your business plan and is often considered the most important section.
It is positioned at the front of the plan and is usually the first section that a potential investor or lender will read.
Include the main points from each of the other sections to explain the basics of your business Be sufficiently interesting to motivate the reader to continue reading the rest of your business plan Be brief and concise — no more than two pages long Although the executive summary is the first section of the plan, it is a good idea to write it last — after the other parts of the plan have been finalized.
This section usually includes: Who you are What you have to offer What market you want to target Remember that the person reading the plan may not understand your business and its products and services as well as you do, so try to avoid using complicated terms.
It is also a good idea to get someone who is not involved in the business to read this section of your plan to make sure that anyone can understand it.
Some of the things you should explain in your plan include: Is it a new business venture, a purchase of an existing business or the expansion of an existing business?
Marketing and sales strategy of a business plan A strong business plan will include a section that describes specific activities that you will use to promote and sell your products or services.
A strong sales and marketing section demonstrates that you have a clear idea of how you will get your product or service into market and can answer the following questions for the reader: Who are your customers?
Do some research and include details of the types of customers who have shown an interest in your product or service. You can describe how you are going to promote yourself to potential customers.
How are you going to reach your customers? You should know your customers and the best methods to reach them. Research will help you identify the most effective way to connect with your selected audience, whether it is through the Internet, over the telephone or by in-person contact.
Who is your competition? Once you understand this, you need to research their strengths and weaknesses and use this information to assess potential opportunities and threats to your business. How are you going to position your product or service?
Describe what makes your product or service unique to the market you are trying to target. How are you going to price your product or service? Investors need to know that you and your staff have the necessary balance of skills, motivation and experience to succeed.A Business Plan is a written document that outlines a company's goals and how it plans to achieve them.
It also encompasses several other aspects of a company's future agenda and can serve as a tool for internal decision-making or as a business proposal to pitch to potential investors.
Guide to market research and analysis Find sample business plans, free templates, writing guides and interactive tools to help you develop a professional business plan. Business planning FAQs Find the answers to questions often asked about preparing a business plan.
Date modified: Section menu Business and industry. A Business Plan is not simply a description of your business.
It includes market analysis, marketing strategies, financial goals, funding and liability information, and company structure details. You may also benefit from reading through our How to Start a Business Guide. Also, try not to overthink it to the point of road-blocking yourself.
Managing your business operations, strategic and financial planning, marketing, growth and more. Protecting your business Emergency planning, risk management, insurance, legal issues and more.
Plan and present your business ideas with our free and easy Business Plan Template. Wow your stakeholders, lenders and investors now. Bplans offers free business plan samples and templates, business planning resources, How-to articles, financial calculators, industry reports and entrepreneurship webinars.