According to the Albany Business Review, there are over 32.5 million businesses in the United States as of 2016. That’s really close to the number of people in California, which has a population of 39.51 million and is currently the country’s most populated state. This should come as no surprise. However, the question should be how would you thrive in an ocean of competitors as a startup business. Have a business plan to back you up. This lest you realize your business and help you find ways on how to achieve them. Refer to the article for more information about this.
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What Is a Business Plan?
At its core, a business plan is a comprehensive account of business objectives and the strategies of methods on how to achieve them. For many, business plans may seem complicated (it can be), but it’s essentially different methods and plans of action on making business goals a reality.
Why Go Through the Hassle of Business Plan Making
For most small-time entrepreneurs, a business idea and having enough capital to fund it is enough to open a small business venture. And this is true. How do you think you pull off your childhood lemonade stand business? When you tell a friend that you want to start a business, there could be a series of advice, encouragement, or hesitation, but no one ever tells you to write a business plan.
So why should you?
According to the US Small Business Administration, there are various reasons why you should have a business plan. For one, a business plan provides you with a direction. Because it’s basically a compilation of methods and instructions that you can use to reach your objectives, you’ll know how to manage your business well. This is better than immediately setting up a business stand without knowing what to do about it. It can also help you get the support that you need. If you want to get a business bank loan, among the requirements would be your business plan. This makes you a potential candidate for approval because this shows the bank that you know what you want and how to get it. And, contrary to popular belief, this document is not difficult to make. Even though there’s a specific order of parts in making a business plan, you can certainly make your own version.
Tips on Making a Business Plan in Microsoft Word
If you want to start making a business plan, the following guideline will help you
1. Make a Compelling Executive Summary
Your executive summary would dominate the very first part of your business plan. Whether you’re presenting your document to a group of investors, business partners, or bank loan officers, this is the first thing their eyes will land. Therefore, the executive summary carries that most important thing you need to win their approval: the first impression. Be sure to make your summary compelling. It should contain all the needed details to present your entire business plan in an engaging nutshell. Failing to get them hooked at the very first page puts you at a tremendous disadvantage.
2. Set Realistic and Research-Based Claims
When you establish objectives and provide projections, they should be logical and should provide factual details. You can’t allow empty promises and over the top claims on your business plan, as this will ruin your chances of achieving your audience satisfaction with your presentation. When you set business goals, make sure it goes with the capacity of your enterprise. If you present projections, predictions, and probable financial plan results, back them up with research, calculations, and statistics. This makes your plan even more credible.
3. Know Your Competitors and Target Market Well
An essential part of your business plan is dedicated to knowing your target market and competitors. This helps you create marketing plan strategies that can help you thrive in the market. By performing competitor analysis, you’ll get a glimpse of your competition’s strengths and weaknesses that you can use to help you stand out. On the other hand, a target market analysis lest you create an audience profile that you can use to identify your market’s preferences, trends, and the driving force behind their purchasing decisions that you can use as a foundation for your marketing and sales plan.
4. Use Visual Presentations
A plain full-text business plan would fall short in presenting your details in the best way possible, even with a thorough explanation. When your audience reads your plan, they’ll most likely read the executive summary only and would merely skim the rest of the document. If you want them to see the rest of your information, use visual presentations. This involves using graphs, tables, pictures, and illustrations. For example, if you’re showing your financial predictions, you might as well include bar charts to prove your point. If you want to showcase how you envision your business to look like, a picture will do that best instead of multiple descriptive paragraphs.
5. Keep Everything Concise
Lastly, even if you want to put in as many details as you want, strive to keep your plan concise. Review every section and look out for wordy contexts or unnecessary statements that would contribute to your content’s word count. For a tip, use simple language. You don’t need to use excessive business jargon to make your consultant business plan look smart.
When should you review and revise your business plan?
This largely depends on you. You can set a revision schedule to include the changes in the plan or scratch out what failed to work. You can also do this every time you surpass a goal to make way for a new one.
What are the basic components of a business plan?
A business plan includes the following basic components:
- Executive summary
- Company background
- Product and services description
- Marketing and sales plan
- Management and operations
- Financial plan
What are some of the things you should avoid when making a business plan?
Here are some things that you should not do when making business plans:
- Using general and unauthentic statements
- Failing to consider the process of execution
- Keeping the spotlight on the products and services alone
A business venture never gets easy. You need to start strong and keep that intensity all throughout the duration of your operation. It’s a constant struggle of keeping yourself relevant in the market. This is why you need an efficient business plan to help you recognize your weaknesses and opportunities, research all important factors, and use them all together to achieve your goals. Our business plan templates can do that for you. Download now!
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