A good business plan can help you secure finance, define the direction of your business and create strategies to achieve your goals. Writing a business plan is one of the most crucial elements of starting a business. However, it does not have to be the most frustrating.
Business/Industry Overview contains an overview of the industry and how your business will compete in the sector. Describe the overall nature of the industry, including sales and other statistics. Include trends and demographic, economic, cultural, and governmental influences. Describe your business and how it fits into the industry. Describe the existing competition. Describe what area(s) of the market you will target and what unique, improved or lower cost services you will offer.
Know your finances. The other essential part of a business plan is the finance section. If your business isn’t going to make any money, it won’t be successful so you need to be very clear on how you will make a profit. Use it to your advantage – your plan will be incredibly useful when it comes to securing loans and investment, but that’s not its only use. It’s also a personal tool to help you understand your objectives.
That does not mean you have to bust out Word and start the plan from scratch. A template is great--you probably are not doing anything that has not been done before, so it provides a proven structure for your plan. Pretty much everything on it can be customized.