What is a business plan and why do I need one?
A business plan defines your business in detail and outlines your goals. Writing a business plan dramatically increases your chances of success as an entrepreneur. The best way to show banks, investors, or other people who you’d like to have invest in your business in some way, that you are worthy of financial support is to show them a great business plan. Make sure that your plan is clear, focused and realistic. Then you can show them that you have the tools and talent to make it happen.
Some business plans are ages old and have been copied and used over and over while others unique and almost experimental. There is no one size fits all business plan but you can look at several and piece them together to make one that fits your unique business.
Below is an outline for creating a business plan.
1) Determine why you want to write a business plan. Are you seeking out investors or a loan? Do you want a guideline to help you focus on and achieve your business goals?
2) Begin writing. The first step is to brainstorm or start with a very rough draft. Just start getting things down on paper.
3) Introduce yourself including your background, education and experience.
4) Introduce your business. What services or product do you plan to offer? What is unique about it? What makes it stand out?
5) Who are your customers? Why are they your customers? Do you have any studies or reports that can back up information about your customers?
6) Describe how much and how your customers will be paying for your product or service? Include how many times a customer may purchase from you in a year. Do any of your products or services tie in together offering multiple item sales to each customer? Will you be accepting credit cards, PayPal, money orders?
7) Explain how many of your items can be made and sold in a year.
8) How much will it cost you to produce each item?
9) If you are asking for a loan explain in detail what you need the loan for and where the money will go.
10) Explain how you plan to make a profit. Especially if you are asking for a loan. The lender will want to be sure you can repay a loan.
Once you have all of this written out in your business plan you’ll want to summarize your points. Use bullet points in your list and just hit the most important parts. This list actually then goes at the beginning of your business plan, on the first page. This is the first thing potential investors or supporters will see and it will help them to determine if they want to support your business or not.
Have you tried writing a business plan before?
By: Vicki O’Dell, The Creative Goddess
You can find more of Vicki’s article right here on her profile page!