IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN, YOU PLAN TO FAIL.
Part of the major reasons why many businesses fail is due to poor planning. This is the reason why every business needs a business plan. It is very compulsory. A business plan format is available, you can download it for more clarity.
A business plan helps you achieve your entrepreneurship goals and puts together everything you need to take into consideration in your business. If you run a business that invites investors, you will definitely need a business plan to show the potentials and operating system of your business. No one will want to put money into something that has no plan or goal.
This article will describe in detail how to write your business plan and also including all the essential sections you need in your plan. Note that your business plan can be written on a slideshow or on paper.
BUSINESS PLAN FORMAT
INTRODUCTION OR EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
In the first part of your business plan, there must be a formal summary or introduction of your business. What your business is all about, what product or services you provide, your plans for the future etc. For example, if you are an automobile company you can briefly talk about what your company does by saying
Ranger Automobile Workshop is a 24/7 workshop that provides all automobile repairs and servicing on demand. We also sell spare parts for vehicles like Ford, Toyota, Honda and Volkswagen. We make deliveries to anywhere in Kenya.
After this, you should focus on talking about the future plans of the business.
PROBLEMS AND SOLUTION ANALYSIS
Clearly state out your business idea and identify the problems to which your idea is bringing solutions to. Your business cannot be solving a problem nobody has. The idea of a “problem” doesn’t necessarily have to be a world issue, but can be a problem in your environment or community.
In order to explain this, you need to go into full details about your business products or services. Highlight how customers make use of this products or services and explain how it adds value to them in one way or another.
READ ALSO: HOW TO WRITE A BUSINESS PROPOSAL
Every business has to have a target market. Know your business customers, in relation to age range, gender, social class, etc. This will help you know what marketing strategies to employ in your business. Identifying your target audience enables you narrow down your resources towards the target, rather than beating around the bush.
It is important to analyze your competitors. Know the businesses in your niche, find out that strengths and weaknesses and look for the best possible ways to outsmart them and do better than they do. Most business ideas already have existing competitors in play.
Try to see similar businesses like yours and take note of the heights they reached and possible problems they encountered in doing business. This is an opportunity to modify your business idea and make it unique.
Your business operational system explains how the business is to run on a normal basis. The responsibilities of workers, the administrative directives, management and company rules. It is important to set out the company operational system, so as to lay down standards for your business.
After stating your operational system, you need to ascertain the team you need to carry your business forward. Who are these people going to be? What roles are they to play? How many of them do I need? What positions are they to occupy? Your work force will always determine your business productivity.
Your finance is the backbone of your business. Starting from raising your capital, to laying out all your expenses and profits (budget), everything must be properly planned out and put into writing. It is necessary to have adequate funding to start the business and keep it running even before profits start rolling in, say for about 2 years running. I spoke more about this in my article on reasons why many businesses fail
In addition, here is a format of a business plan if you need more clarity.
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