Business plans outline the steps to launching a venture and help to figure out the most appropriate steps to take in case of any difficulties. Whereas a business plan is not a prerequisite for a business startup, it can define the direction of an enterprise.
If you are ready to launch a business, it is a good idea to think of how best to create a business plan. Here are the 15 most practical tips for a great business plan.
1. Simplify it
Look at a business plan as a pitch that requires simplicity and clarity. A planner app is a convenient and faster way of creating a great business plan on any device, including a smartphone. Through an app, you can identify the most important components of the plan and ensure completeness.
2. Be realistic
When drafting a business plan, address the question of how you are going to realize your goals and have supporting ideas. Focus on setting audacious goals but create a realistic plan on how to achieve them. Unrealistic and wild financial projections with no clear path to realization may result in time wastage.
3. Define your competition
Understanding your competitor is a sign of being mature and savvy. In some cases, the competitor may be new technology and not necessarily another business. With technological advancement, you need to be “global oriented” because the world is moving global.
4. Highlight your assumptions
Assumptions will be important when making the financial projections as the financial statement figures are based on those assumptions. The assumptions should form part of target goals as presented in your action plan.
5. Avoid treating a business plan as an academic task
A business plan is not an academic document and so you should not focus on filling in the numerous sections. Instead, think of how to get your business off the ground and elevate it to the next level. Establish the ways and means of realistically making money.
6. Identify the product, its selling price, and the target market
Identifying your products or services menu, the price, and whether there are individuals or companies interested in your brand. Identify how you want to make money now and in the future.
7. Think big
Regardless of how low you start, look at the bigger picture and have a vision. This will make it easier to implement change and redesign processes in the future. If you are setting up a tech solution to implement change, think about how you want this to look in the future.
8. Focus on substance over form
Your business plan should have substance represented by a marketable product and a clear plan for a revenue boost. Think of how you can condense a business plan to look like a pitch instead of filling it with pages of market plan and analysis.
9. Research more
Conduct market research and identify the key players including the international ones. This will help you to identify the customers’ views of your products and create the basis for developing a marketing strategy.
10. Set time-bound and specific goals
You should set very specific business goals; annual, biannual, or quarterly and have a trackable action benchmark. Setting time-bound and specific goals enables you to stay focused and provides a means of tracking progress.
11. Specify your action plan
Specify the actions to take in the initial days of your business, clearly stating your priorities. Identify where you need to focus in the first few months and track your progress.
12. Include all important parts
Include all important parts of a business plan, such as the product description, competitor analysis, and market description. Explain how you intend to sell your products, the business risk elements, and definable goals.
13. The business plan should show your personality and thinking
Avoid the temptation of duplicating another person’s methods and approaches. There is no perfect method and so the plan should represent your working procedures and ways of thinking. Focus on putting your personal touch on the plan and adopt a comfortable style.
14. Identify your weak points
Ask yourself how well you understand your business and the process of making that business successful. Your ability to identify the weak points is an indication that you understand the business well.
15. Understand the business plan
When drafting the business plan, it is important to anticipate change. Some products you expect to penetrate the market may fail and a new opportunity to generate revenue may arise. Adjust the document accordingly to incorporate change by setting new goals and plans.
A great business plan can give your business a great start and set it on a path to success. What is important is to have an idea, actualize it on paper and define how you want to achieve the short-term and long-term goals. The business plan should represent all the details about your venture regarding the brand, type, and structure of the business, and more.