A business plan as a written document is designed to describe the nature of the business, the sales and marketing strategy, and the financial background, and it always contains a profit and loss statement.
A business plan is also a road map that provides directions so a business can plan its future and helps it avoid obstacles in the road. The time you spend making your business plan thorough and accurate and keeping it up-to-date is an investment that pays big dividends in the long term.
Your business plan should conform to generally accepted guidelines regarding form and content. Each section should include specific elements and address relevant questions that the people who read your plan will most likely ask. Generally, a business plan has the following component.
Purpose of drafting a business plan
There are two main purposes for writing a business plan. The first, and most important, is to serve as a guide during the life of your business. It is the blueprint of your business and will serve to keep you on the right track. To be of value, your plan must be kept current. If you spend the time to plan ahead, many pitfalls will be avoided and needless frustrations will be eliminated.
Second, the business plan is a requirement if you are planning to seek loan funds. It will provide potential lenders with detailed information on all aspects of the company’s past and current operations and provide future projections. The text of a business plan must be concise and yet must contain as much information as possible. This sounds like a contradiction, but you can solve this dilemma by using the KeyWord approach. Write the following keywords on a card and keep it in front of you while writing.
The first page of your business plan will be the cover sheet. It serves as the title page of your plan. It should contain the following information:
- Name of the company
- Company address
- Company phone number
- Logo (if you have one)
- Names, titles, addresses, phone numbers of owners
The executive summary, or statement of purpose, completely wraps your reason for writing the business plan. It tells the reader what you want and why right upfront. Are you looking for a ₦10,000,000 loan to remodel and refurbish your factory? A loan of ₦25,000,000 to expand your product line or buy new equipment? How will you repay your loan, and over what term? Would you like to find a partner to whom you’d sell 25 percent of the business? What’s in it for him or her? The questions that pertain to your situation should be addressed here clearly and effectively.
Describing your business
The business description usually begins with a short explanation of the industry. When describing the industry, discuss what’s going on now as well as the outlook for the future. Do the necessary research so you can provide information on all the various markets within the industry, including references to new products or developments that could benefit or hinder your business. Base your observations on reliable data and be sure to footnote and cite your sources of information when necessary.
When describing your business, say which sector it falls into (wholesale, retail, food service, manufacturing, hospitality, and so on) and whether the business is new or established. Then say whether the business is a sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited liability, or corporation. Next, list the business’ principals and mention what they bring to the business. Continue with information on who the business’ customers are, how big the market is, and how the product or service is distributed and marketed.
Engaging in market research
Nowadays the internet and social networks have had a huge impact on the development of market research practices, making desk research even more accurate and expansive. There is an increasing supply of secondary data available in published form, accessible either online or via business sections of public libraries throughout the UK, to enable business starters and growers both to quantify the size of market sectors they are entering and to determine trends in those markets.
However, the importance of going out into the field, speaking to customers directly, testing your product/service personally, and building a brand through your interactions with users is still as important as it was prior to the evolution of data. This also entails getting out and finding out essential facts that have not been uncovered by desk research, either because the data hasn’t been collected, or because it is deficient in some important respect.
Very often you will find that while general market information is available there is not information for a particular town or region. Also, when the economic climate changes, say from boom to bust, buying patterns may shift quite suddenly, making desk research irrelevant. Here we look at key areas of field research in order to help you plan and implement effective market research.
Choosing a business name
Choosing a business name is one of the most important first steps when forming a business. It’s what gives shape and form to an otherwise nebulous concept.
The process for choosing the name has parallels with impending parenthood. Brainstorming, listing, discussing, and whittling down to the one that says everything you want it to say to someone. And it can make all the difference in your offspring’s chances in life… It has to be unique, compelling, memorable.
Products or Services
k together to benefit your customer (such as warranty service for the products you sell) be sure to mention this in your plan. Again the keywords come into use.
List future services you plan to add to your business. Also, anticipate any potential problem that may arise in the cause of doing the business.
Consider your funding means
Startup capital for your business can come from a variety of means. The best way to acquire funding for your business depends on several factors, including creditworthiness, the amount needed, and available options. get a loan here www.fincanigeria.com
- Business Loan: If you need financial assistance, a commercial loan through a bank is a good starting point, although these are often difficult to secure. If you are unable to take out a bank loan, you can apply for a small business loan through microfinance.
- Business Grants: Business grants are similar to loans; however, they do not need to be paid back. Business grants are typically very competitive and come with stipulations that the business must meet to be considered. When trying to secure small business grants, look for ones that are uniquely specific to your situation.
- Investors: Startups requiring significant funding up front may want to bring on an investor. Investors can provide millions of Naira or more to a fledgling company with the expectation that the backers will have a hands-on role in running your business.