A cohesive business plan acts as a roadmap for businesses and is a tool that helps guide you in making business decisions. If you’re well on your way to registering your small business and don’t have a business plan yet, there are free business plan templates available for you to use.
A business plan should include:
- An executive summary
- Business description
- Marketing strategy
- Positioning your business
- Competitor analyses
- Development plan
- Risk management
- Organisational structure
We have a few tips to remember when drafting your business plan.
Business Plan Tips:
Start with a one-page pitch
A one-page pitch is a high-level overview of your business, what you want to achieve, a summary of your business model as well as your key sales and marketing strategies. The one-page pitch is easily shareable and gives an overview of your entire business – this makes it easily digestible to investors, as opposed to them having to read the whole business plan. Think of it as your elevator pitch but for your business.
Know the market
When defining your target market, you also need to do secondary market research to determine how big the market is. Secondary research is research that has already been done and compiled by someone else. Things like the number of people in the town, the number of people in certain tax bracket – it includes reports and studies conducted by government institutions and other organisations.
Conduct thorough competitor research
Knowing your competition will better equip you for setting your business apart from the rest. New companies must have something that sets them apart from the competition and knowing what your competitor is doing allows you to find that one thing that you can offer that the others in your industry don’t have.
Get your finances in order
Be thorough with your business finances; document everything in detail from cash flow to sales predictions, as well as costs. If you will be seeking funding, then your business finances will be under scrutiny.
Review your business plan
Seek a second and independent pair of eyes to have a look at your business plan. Consult an impartial and can give constructive criticism. Consider seeking the services of an accountant, business advisor or mentor.
Another important tip is to pay attention to detail and keep refining and improving on your business plan. And to remember that a business plan is a roadmap, but it is not set in stone, you can amend it as many times as you need to.