If you are planning to go to a local bank for a business loan, or are approaching your sphere of influence for backing who you know is accustomed to seeing legit business plans, then you know you probably need to create something that they understand in a format they are comfortable with.
Business Plans vs. Pitch Decks Business plans and pitch decks are two different things. The best way to face those issues head on is with a well-thought business plan. What Is a Business Plan? A business plan is a strategic map. Pointers for Writing a Business Plan Writing a business plan can feel very intimidating. The good news is that your company will be a lot stronger once the process is over. A range of 30 to 50 pages is a good sweet spot to aim for. Try business plan software — There are plenty of business plan software tools, such as LivePlan , which offer business plan examples and guidance.
But if you prefer something more simple, you can also try an easily editable writing tool like Google Docs. For instance, small business lenders will be most interested in financial projections. Investors might place more emphasis on your product, service, and marketing plans. With these tips in mind, you can now starting putting your business plan together.
If this is your first time writing a business plan, the easiest way to tackle the project is to walk through each section, one at a time. The end result will be a comprehensive analysis of your company, as it is now and as you hope it will be in the future. Executive Summary Your executive summary is the first chapter and first step in writing a business plan. It would be beneficial for you to create separate budgets for for internal hours staff time and external costs out-of-pocket expenses.
Make it adaptable based on your audience. And each type of reader does have certain typical interests. If you know these interests up-front, you can be sure to take them into account when preparing a plan for that particular audience. A vision is an image of where you want your organization to be in the future a goal, per se , which even determines the actions that you take.
Naturally then, having a strong, clear vision is very important in creating a well-guided business plan. Use Business Analysis Using various different business analyses allows you to discover a number of different internal and external factors which you might have otherwise not considered. Format the plan in a logical order that is simple to follow.
Think of this as an opportunity to tell a story about your business idea with a beginning summary and information about the need you plan to meet , middle how you will go about meeting the need and end the projected results of your efforts. Unlike [name omitted], LivePlan creates a real business plan, with real insights—not just cookie-cutter, fill-in-the-blank templates.
Your positioning strategy will often be a major driver of how you price your offerings. Price sends a very strong message to consumers and can be an important tool to communicate your positioning to consumers. If you are offering a premium product, a premium price will quickly communicate that message to consumers.
Deciding on your price can feel more like an art than a science, but there are some basic rules that you should follow: Covering your costs. There are certainly exceptions to this, but for the most part, you should be charging your customers more than it costs you to deliver your product or service. Primary and secondary profit center pricing. Your initial price may not be your primary profit center. For example, you may sell your product at, or even below, your cost, but require a much more profitable maintenance or support contract to go along with the purchase.
Matching the market rate. Your prices need to match up with consumer demand and expectations. Price too high and you may have no customers. Price too low and people may undervalue your offering. You can establish your pricing based on several factors. You can look at your costs and then mark up your offering from there. Market-based pricing. Another method is to look at the current landscape of competitors and then price based on what the market is expecting.
You could price at the high-end or low-end of the market to establish your positioning. Value pricing. A promotion plan details how you plan on communicating with your prospects and customers. Here are a few areas that you might consider as part of your promotional plan: Packaging If you are selling a product, the packaging of that product is critical. If you have images of your packaging, including those in your business plan is always a good idea. Be sure the packaging section of your plan answers the following questions: Does your packaging match your positioning strategy?
How does your packaging communicate your key value proposition? How does your packaging compare to your competition? Advertising Your business plan should include an overview of the kinds of advertising you plan to spend money on.
Will you be advertising online? A key component to your advertising plan is your plan for measuring the success of your advertising.
Is it a good fit for them? Remember, your business plan is a tool to help you build a better business, not just a homework assignment. Will your team be cold-calling potential customers?
Another way to think about key assumptions is to think about risk. Executive Summary Your executive summary is the first chapter and first step in writing a business plan.