A business plan describes the future of your business in words i.e. in textual form. A penned down business plan makes a description of the things that you are planning to do and how exactly are you going to carry out those plans. The germ of a business plan may be as simple as a paragraph noted down in a note pad which elucidates the strategy that your business intends to undertake.
A number of functions or roles may be carried out by business plans. On one hand it may serve as a sort of vision statement meant for potential investors. Companies may also use them to attract sought after employees, to manage their dealings with suppliers and what are the prospects for new businesses or simply to gain an understanding of better management of employees.
So, it may naturally come to your mind about what it is to be included in business plans and how to go about in putting a business plan together. In its simplest form a business plan elucidates the goals of your business and the strategies you use them in order to meet the goals. It must also be inclusive of taking into consideration potential problems or hurdles your business might run into and how you intend to solve the same. Other things included in a business plan is the structure of the organization and the titles as well as the responsibilities of various roles along with the amount of capital needed to run and sustain it until it reaches the break-even mark.
There are general guidelines for the content applicable to both. A business plan primarily consists of three main parts.
- It all starts with the main business concept where you conduct discussions about the industry to which your business belongs, the structure of your business, the particular service or product in question and how you intend to make it a runaway success.
- The second part deals with the marketplace which describes and analyzes potential clients or customers - who they are and where they may be found, what influences their purchase decisions and so on. You also make a description of the competition that you face and how you intend to beat them.
- The last section of a business plan consists of an enumeration of your income and a statement regarding your cash-flow, balance sheet and other matters pertaining to finances like analysis of break-even point. You might need an accountant and a good software programmer to help in dealing with spreadsheets.
These three components may be further divided into 7 vital components viz.
- The Executive Summary
- Description of your business
- The Market strategies you wish to employ
- The analysis of competitors
- A development and design plan
- Plans regarding Management and operations
- Factors related to finance
A proper business plan should also incorporate within its pages:
- A Cover
- Title Page
- And a Table of Contents.
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