Consider this as your personal, snack-sized crash course on how to make a (good) business plan.
…Need to get that high-stake business plan presentation ready by yesterday.
…Want a PROVEN framework that will help you structure and develop that plan, step-by-step.
…Look for a solid, editable presentation template that’ll wow your audience.
You’re in the right place.
Because today, you’ll learn:
What a winning business plan is and why you need one (It’s not only about having a nice template. You need to read this if you truly want to succeed at making your own…).
How to structure your business plan. Use one of these three bullet proof outlines to craft a plan that works for any product or service (and no matter if you’re a well-established company or a tiny startup).
“Simple Checklists” you can use to build your plan, step-by-step. They include the exact questions A-list businessmen anwer in their business plans (Note: This takes a lot of work but it separates the big dogs from the wannabes).
3 top-tier templates for Keynote & PowerPoint. Use them for wildly successful business plans…
Quick jump to sections for the busy bee:
1. The Definition of a Business Plan
What is a business plan?
Unless you can answer that question within the next 10 seconds (I’ll start counting now), read what’s following:
“A business plan is a detailed summary of a business, its mission, vision, and goals, why these are going to be successful, and how they’re going to be achieved” (source). Basically, it’s a roadmap for the development of your company.
And here’s my personal, somehow condensed definition:
2. Why You Need a Business Plan
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
There are literally a gazillion of reasons you should make a business plan:
Assess the viability of your venture
Better understand your competition
Sell your business
Determine your financial needs
You’re less likely to fail (71% of fast-growing companies have plans)
And so on…
But let me save you some time here and tell you the one major reason:
A Business plan is a turnkey tool for managing your business.
First, having a plan will force you to document everything about your business: your goals, value proposition, target customers, revenue model, financial & cost structure, competition, milestones, etc.
Second, it will help you track your success, because you have a written record of your goals + delivering against them.
3. Three Different Structures You Can Use
There are a lot of different ways to structure a business plan presentation. And if you start searching for some help on Google, I can almost guarantee you’ll get a headache in the next 20 seconds.
The thing is, your business plan structure will mostly depend on…
Your audience (business partners, clients, investors?)
The objective of your business plan (inform, convince, raise funding?)
Your type of business (product manufacturing, service, tech?)
Your stage of development (business idea, minimum viable product, profitable business?)
See, there is no right or wrong structure.
So first, make sure to determine why you are making a business plan and in which context you intend to use it.
With that said, let me introduce you three simple yet proven structures you can use to prepare your business plan.
a) The Classic Business Plan
I recommend you to use this structure if you already have an established, stable, cash-generating businesses (clearly, you didn’t start your company two days ago).
b) The Classic Business Plan With Lots of Figures
If you need to focus on the financial aspect of your business, this structure will be a great fit.
c) The Investor-Focused, Pitch Business Plan
Your business is quite new (nope, your company wasn’t created in 1982) but you already have the whole business model canvas completed. You’re looking to pitch your solution, and most likely want to raise funds for your project.
4. The Essential Elements of a Great Business Plan
In this section, I’ll give you the essential questions your business plan needs to answer.
For each part, I’ll also provide you additional, university-backed resources you can (and should) use to dig deeper on the topic.
The target of this part is to provide a short overview of your business, as it is today and as you want to develop it in the near future.
Who are you? (e.g. [Company] is a [business type] founded by [founder’s name] [number] years ago)
What’s the financial ownership structure?
How you long as your business being operating?
What product/service do you sell, to whom and across which geographies?
What do you want to achieve, and in which time frame (e.g. number of customers, sales, revenue, market share)?
What’s the goal of this business plan (get funding, if yes, how much and for what, etc)?
Products / Services Description
What do you sell and who do you sell that to?
Questions to answer
Who is the group of people/organizations you aim to reach and serve?
Their demographics (their structure):
How old are they?
What’s the # 1 reason people buy/should buy from you?
The point here is to give a solid summary about the environment in which your own business model functions.
What you want is to understand – and help your audience understand – the three most important aspects of your environment (I’ll get to those in just a second), and how they’re likely to evolve in the future…
Yes, it takes work to gather all these pieces of information, but having a complete understanding of your business environment is what separates the pros from the amateurs.
a) Market Forces
Your goal here is to assess the attractiveness, dynamics and challenges of your specific market. Here’s how you do it:
Questions to answer
What changes are underway?
What’s your priority customer segments (the group of people you aim to reach and serve)?
Needs & Demands
What do customers need?
Is it easy for customers to find and buy similar offers?
What are customers willing to pay for?
b) Industry Forces
Which position does your company occupies vs. other companies that produce similar products/services?
Who are your major competitors (current and future)?
Which product could replace yours?
Who can influence your business?
c) Key Trends
The goal of understand this particular aspect of your business is to predict the general direction in which your business is developing…
What are the major tech trends / disruptions in and outside your market?
What new rules/laws may affect your business?
Societal and Cultural Trends
Which shifts in cultural / societal values affect your business?
Socio Economic Trends
What are the key demographic trends?
To find reliable data on Google, you can use these search strings:
You can also gather data about your competitors or a topic that’s relevant to you with these two:
Sales & Marketing Plan
Tell me more, why would people actually want to buy what you’re selling…
Who are your target customers, in a nutshell?
What are their hopes, fears and dreams?
Is your market growing, steady or declining? (yeah, include data)
Is your market share growing, steady or declining?
How do you generate awareness (crucial for new stage businesses)?
Which channels do you use/plan to use to reach, acquire and retain customers?
What is your pricing strategy?
Management & Operations Plan
Unsurprisingly, this section describes who’ll be managing the business, and how it will operate.
Who are the key management team members in place?
What are their qualifications, experiences and skills?
How do these backgrounds help you in this business?
What are their exact responsibilities (goals, missions)?
Who do you plan to hire (and why?)
How do you operate the business?
Who is controlling/owning the company?
What’s the shareholder structure?
What’s the legal structure of your business?
Do you have a board of directors?
How and where are your products/services produced?
How do you operate quality control, customer service, product development etc?
Do you have trademarks or patents (pending, existing, or purchased)?
Where you going?
What are your milestones?
What are your short term, mid term targets (in terms of customers, revenue…)?
How will you achieve those goals?
Here, you want to give a sense of your financial health and your cash flow…. and help your audience assess whether you guys can make a profit.
Do you need funding? If yes, how will you use it?
Can you describe exactly the project to be financed?
Where did the money from the past came from?
How do you currently use the cash?
Provide statements (balance sheet, income statements, accounts receivable and payable, debt, cash flow…)
5. The Free PPT Business Plan Template
Here are a few screenshots:
Here’s h0w the body slides look like:
Here’s how it works:
1 The Presentation Section
Put the name of the section you’re covering in this area. The point of this is to guide your reader/viewer in the presentation, and let him know what the slide is going to be about.
2 An Attention-Grabbing Headline
Your headline is here to grab the attention of your audience… and motivate them to keep on reading. Now…
GOOD headlines have at least one of these 4 qualities:
1) Self-interest (focused on your audience) -> How our product helps B2B businesses drive more sales
2) News (teach them something) -> The paid acquisition is exploding. Here’s why.
3) Curiosity (get them want to know more) -> Three reasons our service help B2B biz drive more sales
4) Ultra-specific (use figures) -> The 3 little-known techniques we’re using to grow by 50% every quarter
3 Your Body Copy
What crucial points do you need to highlight to support your headline?
Headline -> How we grew organically by 50%
Body copy -> Three 3 core growth hacking techniques our marketing strategy has incorporated
4 Visuals That Illustrate Your Point
Visuals can be graphics, tables, or breath-taking pictures. Their target is to emphasize on your slide’s message, and help you audience connect the dots. Click here to grab my go-to list of breathtaking, free-to-use photography resources.
5 A Bottom Bar To Recall Your Structure
If you’re making a rather heavy business plan deck (don’t…), integrate a section – at the bottom of each slide – that will recall your audience where they’re at.
Make. Their. Life. Easier.
Get the slides right here:
6. Top-Rated Templates… Or How to Build a Stunning Business Plan 3x Faster
A solid business plan deck is your best chance to raise funding for your company.
If you would like gorgeous, editable slides that help you get your value proposition across and show investors how serious you are, then this might be of interest to you:
Pre-built, 100% customizable presentations templates to help you do just that.
You don’t have to spend a huge amount of time on designing, editing and arranging those slides for your high-stake, upcoming pitch presentation.
You’re smart enough to know you could spend that time on more strategic, higher level activities that actually move the needle (like tweaking your value proposition, challenging your business strategy or fine tuning your pitch).
Check out these three premium template packages I’ve hand picked for your below.
Invest a few dollars. Save dozen of hours. Look amazing.
Here are my two favorite premium business plan presentation packages:
Investor Pro Pitch Deck PowerPoint Template
A clean and modern all-purpose business PowerPoint template that’s fast and easy to edit.
67,000+ (yes, you read that right) ready-to-use slides
Hassle-free text editing
3,500 + vector icons (you won’t lose quality when changing colors or sizes)
Charts, graphs, maps,
And much more
Marketofy Ultimate Template
2,500+ vector icons
Dozens of charts and graphs, maps. Fully-editable!
Fast and free customer support 24/7
And so much more !
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