When to create a business plan & what is it for?
These are the most common scenarios when one needs to create a business plan. If you have been asked to discuss the fight time to write a business plan, elaborate on the reasons mentioned above.
Creating a business plan is easy if you are familiar with the right steps. Therefore, here is a list of steps for you to write a marketing and business plan stress-free. An academic business plan consists of the following.
If your professor wants you to ask for funding in the plan, outline your finding requirements in the document. Clearly explain how much finding the company needs over the next five years. Also, explain what the company will use the money for.
This section persuades the investor that the company is reliable enough for investments. You may need to include balance sheets, cash flow statements and income statements to make this part of your document quite compelling.
Do not forget to cite the sources in your paper as and when required. Follow the style as instructed by your professor. Get help from your professors if you find it hard to cite the paper.
Business Plan Executive Summary Samples
[Explain the potential profit from this project and provide supporting data such as market size, market share and growth rate. Describe your revenue model and expected profit margin]
[Describe your current & future competitors and any other external risks that the investment may be exposed to. Demonstrate knowledge of the landscape and your competitive advantage]
[Describe the financial resources that you have or need to make the plan successful. Include available and projected cash, burn rate and revenue. Explain how far will the investment take you and how do you plan to continue from there]
[Introduce your team and emphasize on what YOU bring to the table. Explain the role and responsibility of each member and any other human resources that you would need to execute the plan.]
The executive summary can be up to 350 words. The executive summary should act as a strong opening statement to your business plan and should be able to stand alone as a document independent of the rest of the plan. You should attempt to intrigue your audience to learn more about your business with this section.
- Company Overview: a. What does the company do? b. Who are your target customers?
- Product(s) a. What doesyour product do? b. How is it differentiated? c. Include information on ownership of the technology
- Competitive Analysis: What is the current competitive landscape?
- Business Strategy / Model: a. How are you going to make money? b. What are the benefits for payers? Venture capitalists? Etc. c. Who is going to give you money so that you can achieve your strategy?
- R&D Pathand Major Milestones a. R&D, Regulatory, Commercialization b. Exit plan
- Operations: a. Marketing, and Sales b. Manufacturing c. Other
- Financial Summary a. Include your projected positivecash flowvs. your burn rate b. Include the financial value proposition to prospective investors and payers
Why Do You Need a Business Plan?
1. Growing Business
Imagine you own and rent a handful of condominium properties. You have plans to acquire more and turn it from a hobby to a full-time pursuit. This means a lot is going on in the early stages of your organization’s development. A business plan breaks down the moving pieces into more manageable portions.
For your growing real estate portfolio, those pieces include acquisition and capital improvement costs. Also important are income projections and growth or financial benchmarks. Plus, many tasks exist with finding a property, securing loans and closing deals.
One of the central uses of most startup business plans is for raising investment funds. A business plan conveys what the new company needs and convinces others to help fund its growth. For banks, lenders or investors, the business plan shows them the who, what and how of the business operations. Then it communicates why the new business is a solid investment.
2. Established Firm
Even if profitable, your company still needs a pathway to future growth. You need strategies for responding to a changing market or tracking current projects. You also want to establish goals or metrics to define your success.
An established owner might use a business plan to determine what it takes to move into a new market. You might tweak that same plan in response to new competition entering the market.
For firms currently on solid footing, the business plan helps assess where they stand. It can then detail their next steps for achieving further success and how to accomplish more, faster.
Add a Title Page and Table of Contents
If you’re writing a business plan as an organizational exercise—for your eyes only—feel free to get loose with the style and organization; the simple act of putting all your ideas into a practical template may be a valuable brainstorming tool. However, if you’re looking for funding or investors, the business plan is a formal document, so it should look like one. Every aspect of your business plan should impress your potential funding source.
Hiring a professional to design, edit, or review your business plan may be a good idea, regardless of how skilled you are; a fresh pair of eyes can often spot issues that the original writer missed.
If you need printed copies, get them professionally printed and bound. Keep in mind that you may only have a short amount of time to sell your idea, and first impressions pack a powerful punch.
How Long Should a Business Plan Be?
A good business plan can’t be pinned to a minimum or maximum page count. This is because the right length depends on your business. Your business plan should be brief enough to convey the essentials without redundancy or fluff content, yet long enough to demonstrate to your audience that your business is well-researched and fully considered. A simple plan for a modest startup might be around 40 pages, while a more complex business plan may need 100 pages to convey an ambitious financing strategy, product diagrams, industry data, or the full scope of the venture. The goal is to allow for a full explanation of the pertinent information about your business, presented in a concise and well-organized fashion.