Building your own business wouldn’t be possible without a plan. Businesses make use of business plans to describe the future of their business. A business plan is a formal written document that is used to contain information or details about a specific business. It is also referred to as a formal statement of the specific goals of a business. The things that are covered in a business plan are the objectives of the business, sales, marketing, and financial forecasts.
Knowledge about business planning is important for you to be able to create an effective and useful business plan. If you need to create a business plan such as a financial plan, project plan, or any other type of plan, you can download from the selection of samples and templates that you will find on this page. You can also choose from any of the 10 downloadable business plan samples and templates that are available below, which you can use as your guide when creating one.
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What Is a Business Plan?
Businesses, organizations, and entities need to thoroughly plan the direction of the business as well as the goals that they want to achieve. In order to effectively do this, a business plan is an important document. A business plan serves as a guide for businesses for them to be able to set a clear direction for the business. It outlines the various methods and actions that they need to do in order to maintain the growth of the business. Through a business plan, it makes the planning process easier for individuals, whether they are running a small business or a corporate company. A business plan is also a formal document that is used as a basis for potential investors, suppliers, and in loan applications. Furthermore, writing one has become easier since there are samples that you can download if you need a reference when creating one. You will also find a variety of business plan templates in this article to help you outline and format your plan.
Why Is It Essential to Have a Business Plan?
Running a business isn’t easy, especially when it involves a large company or organization. This is why a business plan is an important document in every business. There are various types of business plans that you can use in the business depending on how a particular plan is used. Here are the reasons why it is essential to have a business plan:
- Business plans are important since it outlines the company’s goals and objectives including the necessary steps and actions needed to be done in order to achieve these goals.
- Since businesses constantly launch new products and projects, a business plan is an important document when planning and brainstorming new products and services that they can offer to the different markets.
- A business plan allows you to track and monitor the different projects that a business may be having. Through this, you will be able to see your progress as well as check on the various aspects of a project that may need improvement.
- A business plan also allows business owners to understand the different markets, their competitors, as well as the products and services that these competitors are marketing or selling. This will allow them to improve their offerings to attract potential customers and clients.
- A business plan helps businesses in accurately managing their finances or their cash flow. This ensures that the operations of the business will run smoothly and with a clear goal.
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Building a Business Plan That Works
An effective business plan can provide a lot of benefits to the business. Before you can start building a business plan, it is important that you understand the necessary steps needed to be done. How exactly do you create a business plan? Refer to the steps below to help you build and create your business plan.
- Prepare all the information and data that you will need before you create your business plan. This will make it easier for you when you start making your document.
- Understand the entirety of your business, from the operations, the finances, the industry that your business is in, and to the products and services that you have.
- Determine what your purpose is for creating the plan. Having a clear purpose will keep you guided on the things that you will need to do in order to achieve your vision and goals.
- Identify the audience to whom the business plan is for. If the purpose of your business plan is to attract certain individuals or organizations like investors, it is important that you build the business plan that will fit them. By doing this, you will be able to provide the right information for that particular audience.
- Now that you have gathered all the necessary information and have done all the preparation in building a business plan, you can start creating your business plan.
- To start, you have to create a well-curated outline of a business plan. You can download the business plan samples and templates that are available for download on this page.
- Write the executive summary of the business plan. This contains an overview or a summary of your business concept, the objectives of your plan, the products and services that you are offering, and other relevant information that an executive summary contains.
- Next, write a short business overview. This refers to the business’ background, vision, mission, and the objectives or direction of the business.
- Based on the information and data that you have gathered, write a detailed list of the various products and services that your company is offering. Explain the benefits of your products and services, features, and its edge from what your competitors are offering.
- Write your marketing strategy in the business plan that you are creating. Your company’s marketing strategy refers to the methods or the ways on how your company will market the products and services that you have. Also include your target market, your competition, and why your product is unique from your competitors’ offerings.
- Write your financial plan in the business plan being created. The financial plan is a part of a business plan that includes your financial statements, income statements, balance sheets, cash flow, profit, etc.
Tips for Creating a Solid and Effective Business Plan
Here are some essential tips that are useful in helping you create an effective business plan:
- When you create a business plan, always research about your competition. This is important for you to be able to understand them to be able to improve and attract more clients or customers.
- When crafting your business plan, it is important that you understand your audience for you to be able to create a document that will fit your target audience.
- Include supporting documents in your business plan to prove that the information or statements written in your business plan are based on facts, especially when writing your financial summary.
- When creating a business plan, remember to set realistic and achievable goals and objectives to ensure that this will be put into action. Also, consider the resources that you have when creating your plan.
- Remember to look at the audience’s perspective when creating your business plan. Include the elements that your audience may want to see in your document.
- The management team involved in the creation of a business plan and the individuals managing the business should have good credentials in order for potential investors, suppliers, etc., to have a clear view of your team’s competency.
- Always create a draft of your business plan and proofread or double-check all the information and data to ensure that there are no errors or mistakes when you create the final output.
- Avoid having long documents when creating a business plan. Readers may lose interest if your business plan contains unnecessary information.
- Always format or outline your document in an organized manner. Remember to use a well-crafted business plan template when creating your document.
Bank Business Plan Template
Business Plan Sample
What Are the Essential Elements That You Should Include in Your Business Plan?
Having a plan is necessary especially when it involves the business. Every business plan should contain all the necessary elements in order for it to be useable and effective. Since you are creating a formal document, it is important that you include these elements when you are making your plan. The essential elements of a business plan are as follows:
- Executive summary – this area of your business plan contains the summation of the planning and the execution processes within the document that you have created.
- Business description – the business description defines the products and services that your company is offering. It also contains a description of your business, your goals and objectives, the status of your company, and other information about your business.
- Products and services – every business offers a variety of products and services to their clients. This section lists down the various products and services that you have in your business. It is important for you to be able to differentiate your products and services from those of your competitors.
- Sales and marketing – this section contain information about your company’s sales and marketing strategies. Outline your advertising, branding, and marketing plans and specify the mediums that you will be using to advertise your product such as through television commercials, radio ads, newspapers, brochures, or through social media.
- Operations – in this section, outline the steps on how your business operates on a daily basis. Also include information such as the location of your business, the equipment that you have, overhead expenses, suppliers, and your company’s policies.
- Management team – this is where the individuals involved in the management of the business is discussed. Write in detail the organizational structure of the positions within the company.
- Development – the development aspect of a business plan contains your vision for the company in the future, your expectations, and how you plan on building and growing the company.
- Financial summary – this part is an important element in every business plan. This section provides the investments that your company has, financial status, a description of your assets, cash flow, and profit.
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