Writing a business plan is a daunting task, but one that is essential. A well-written business plan can mean the difference between success and failure, according to Rohit Arora, a contributing writer for Fox Small Business Center. A business plan can provide you with blueprints to help you navigate through the business world while helping potential investors and lenders to understand your business approach and your plan for success. Your business plan, like your business, is forever evolving. It needs to be constantly reworked in order to remain relevant to your changing business strategy.
If you’ve been toying with the idea of starting a business, but you may be unsure about how to write a business plan, there are plenty of resources to help you figure out the basic information you need to include. According to Tim Berry, contributing writer for Entrepreneur, the main fundamentals of a business plan have remained the same. However, because a business plan is an ever changing document that requires fact-based decision-making and quick changes, the leaner your business plan, the easier it will be to run a more efficient business.
Focus on Strategy
Your business strategy is the heart of your business plan. It encompasses how you are going to reach out to your target market and how you plan to set yourself apart from the competition. Making your business strategy the heart of your plan allows you to target specific markets using your products and services based on your specific characteristics. Bring your strategy into focus by summarizing the concept with bullet points and charts. Include images that best represent the concept you are targeting and make sure to describe the unique business opportunity you are pursuing.
Keep Things Concise
Every business plan focuses on eight key areas: the market, products or services being offered, production costs, marketing plans, sales, distribution plans, management, and financial outlook. Most resource that talk about how to write a business plan will advise you to be detailed but focused when addressing these areas. The fact of the matter is these areas can be summarized using bullet points; you really only need to go into detail when the detail isn’t already understood. If information that you include in your plan refers to current trends and ongoing assumptions, it is best to be as economical as possible when describing these concepts.
Use Words Wisely
When you are writing your business plan, you want to be sure to use the appropriate language based on the audience you will be presenting the information to. You want to make sure that the descriptions you use to describe things like market details or the company history are appropriate. Know your audience and choose your words accordingly.
If you think that once you secure financing you are done with your business plan, you are sorely mistaken. Your business plan is a way for you to make sure your business stays on the path you set out on before you opened your doors for business. It is a process, not an event. In order to see real results and generate positive benefits for your bottom line, it is important to constantly review your business plan and revise it accordingly. Keeping on top of an ever-changing market will bring you success.
Learning how to write a business plan is a task that doesn’t require a lot of effort. Making it as efficient as possible takes some time and a bit more commitment. Taking the time up front will help you build an efficient business that will hopefully provide you with profitable returns for years to come.