Are you thinking of starting a new business or do you want to find financing? In both cases, you need to know how to make a business plan.
Business plans give entrepreneurs the opportunity to formally analyze and define every aspect of their business idea.
In this post, you will learn how to make a business plan for your business along with the best resources to help you do so.
What is a business plan?
A business plan is a formal document that outlines your company’s goals, strategy, and the resources needed to get your idea off the ground.
Knowing how to write a business plan will help and guide you as you develop your business and will also make it easier for you to obtain financing, something that is surely essential when starting a business .
What is a business plan for?
If you have a growing business, make a business plan to help you obtain capital for your expansion, to create a growth strategy, find opportunities and mitigate risks.
If you are just starting your business, use the business plan to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your business, communicate your vision to others, and develop accurate forecasts.
How to prepare a business plan in 4 steps?
1. Set clear goals
Ask yourself two key questions:
- What do you hope to achieve with your business?
- What do you hope to achieve with your business plan?
Viewing your business plan from this point of view will help you focus on the end goal throughout the writing process and help you measure success.
2. Do a market study?
Before you write your business plan, gather the content and data needed to create it. This includes researching your market and industry, ranging from customer research to legal considerations you needs to be aware of.
Many countries have an official administration or service dedicated to providing information, resources and tools to help entrepreneurs plan, launch, manage and grow their businesses.
These sites also offer valuable information for entrepreneurs, such as local and regional regulations, structuring, tax obligations, financing programs, market research data and much more.
Some Chamber of Commerce websites offer resources for business owners, such as guides and business plan templates. Check if any of these resources are available in your area.
Banks that offer business financing also often have a resource section for entrepreneurs. Does a Google search to find banks that offer business financing, as well as the business plans that get the most financing. If your bank doesn’t offer advice, look for the largest banks in your area:
- Guide on business plan + bank name
- Examples of how to make a business plan + name of the bank
- Templates for preparing a business plan + name of the bank
3. Consider your audience
Because business plans serve different purposes, they will not always be presented to the same audience. It is important to understand who is going to read your business plan, what you want to convince them of and what doubts they might have.
Likewise, your audience will also determine what type of business plan format you should use. Which brings us to the next idea?
Adapt the content to the correct format. If the business plan is just for you and your internal staff, you can have a business plan more to your liking. But if you need the business plan to obtain financing, choose the business plan that best suits the requirements of the financial organization
4. Write the content
When writing a business plan it is important to understand what information should be included in it. Before you start ask yourself:
- Why do I want to start or expand my business?
- Do my goals (personal and professional) and my values complement my business idea?
- What income do I need to generate for myself?
- What education, experience and skills do I bring to my business?