When starting a new Business, whether it’s your first time going out on your own or if you’re a serial entrepreneur with a string of businesses, a business plan is the most essential document you will need.
Why is a Business Plan so Important?
If you understand the saying “if you fail to plan, you’ll plan to fail” you’ll understand the importance of having a business plan. This plan should help you manage your strategies and focus on the key elements of the business. When drafted properly, your business plan should be the guidebook to your new venture.
What are the Essential Points of a Business Plan?
Depending on who you’re writing the plan for, the outline of the document may vary, but there are key points that must always appear on your plan:
- Executive Summary
Exactly what it says it is. This is a summary of what your business will do and what you hope to achieve. The pitch, the goals and dreams.
- Business Description
On a more technical side, this is where you will explain in detail, the industry you are trying to become a part of, what your business brings to the table and what makes you different as a company.
- Target Market
This section needs to be carefully thought out. This is where you define your target market and how you will attract your specific segment of the market.
- SWOT Analysis
An entrepreneur may feel ready to take over the world but he also needs to be realistic in his strengths and weaknesses. This section serves to acknowledge and improve your strong points, but also to define your limitations and find ways to overcome them.
- Operations and Management Plan
Your human capital is the most important resource for your business and plays an important role in the success of your venture. This section’s purpose is to clearly define the different elements of your team and if there is a need to hire.
- Financial Factors
This is the last section of your business plan, but vital nonetheless. No business plan is valid without an appropriate financial forecast and the research of the figures have to be flawless at every point. If you are applying for a bank loan or a partnership, this section will be one of the most influential.
Being passionate about your business is fantastic, but planning ahead of potential challenges or pitfalls will help your business grow and mature beyond your wildest dreams.