A Business Plan is an important document whether you are a one-person enterprise, a startup or a small business. It helps put everyone in sync and maps out the steps necessary to achieve your business goals.
1. What is a business plan?
2. Why make a business plan?
3. How to write a business plan?
A business plan works as the roadmap to your success as it contains details on how your business will run for a period of time and the steps that need to be taken to achieve your business goals.
The first step to creating a business plan is to create an overview of your business. Write down the following:
1. Your business name, what your product or service is, what it does and why;
2. Who you intend to sell it to and how you plan on bringing to market;
3. Your mission, vision, and goals.
After you've created an overview of your business, it is time to talk about your target market and competitors. If you haven't gotten the info on that, it is best to do a market research before taking this next step.
1. What is the industry like? Is it growing? What are the current trends?
2. Who are your direct and indirect competitors?
Now it is time to focus on your target audience. To find out their demographics, hobbies, values, personality, opinions, etc., turn to business reviews they've left on products or services similar to yours on Google, Facebook and Yelp. Find out as much as you can about them and create a list with the details.
After finding out who your target audience is, it is time to explain how you'll meet their needs better than your competitors. Write down your competitive advantage (quality, material, location, customer service, etc.). If you need help with this step, start by writing a short bio containing of the skills and experience of everyone involved in your business.
Let's talk marketing and sales strategy. For your marketing strategy describe your brand identity, and how you will reach your target audience. For your sales strategy, define the steps you are going to take to reach out to potential customers. Finally, show how your market and sales strategy will work together.
Now, focus on your revenue model and financial needs. First, break down where you will be spending your funds. Next, lay out where you are now financially and where you are planning to be. List the number of sales or profit your business has to reach to be financially stable. Lastly, include what you need to break even and the plan B in case you take a loss.
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