Your business plan will not only be the document you use to present to investors and banks to try and acquire capital or loans, but it will also be your bible, of sorts, that you and your business partners will stand by for the duration of your company’s existence. Your business plan will also elaborate on your company’s core values and philosophies, elucidate what your product or service does and what market or demographic it sells to. Moreover, your business plan must have a carefully planned exit strategy in case of a market crash or if another company makes your product or service obsolete. Here are 5 things every solid business plan should have.
- The most important thing your business plan should have is a detailed sales and marketing analysis section. This section will explain who your business’ target market is and what methods your company will take to reach them. With loan dollars or investor capital, how much money will your spend on advertising and marketing? What type of advertising will you use? All these questions must be answered in this crucial section of your business plan. If you don’t know the market you are after, you have some serious brainstorming to do.
- You must explain what your product or service does. In this section you will not only talk about how your product is made and where it is made, but also how it works and how it will benefit people’s lives. Investors will want to know if it is a product that will change or enhance people’s lives. Perhaps you have a product that you thought had a winning formula, but then went back to the drawing board to make it even better.
- Your business plan must also have a “team” section. This section of the business plan will go over who is involved in your company or you can introduce the core team. This might be the CEO or CFO, project managers, marketing manager, lead website designer and more. You also want to include their bio, which will also list their certifications, work history and why they are qualified to be a part of a team. One of the best ways to secure funding is by having a stellar team.
- Next, your fiscal or monetary projections must be laid out in minute details. This can include pie charts, graphs and other visualizations that project the financial growth of your company. You must also provide a summary that explains back up plans in case revenue quotas for a certain month aren’t met. You can visit Teneric (www.teneric.co.uk), which has a number of examples of solid business plans, to get a sense of what yours should look like.
- Lastly, your business plan must have a funding request. This is the section where you ask whomever is reading it for money. This can be the hardest part to write, but it should include a breakdown of much money you need and for what. Hopefully at the end of an investor reading your business plan they will put it down and write you out a check without even thinking about it.