How to Write a Business Plan

A business plan acts as a road map to the small business owner. It is a comprehensive document that gives information about the business. It requires information on how it will manage funds and people. It will include the promotion and marketing. And with writing a plan like this is equivalent to long form writing, many plans can have more pages than your local daily newspaper. This type of long form writing is not required when someone can get started on the internet within a few hours with limited funds. Traditionally the business plan was a key component to an entrepreneur getting the proper funding to start his venture. An entrepreneur would make a plan complete with all the analysis, and present it to an investor.

An investor would decide to fund the business if the plan made sense. With starting on-line an entrepreneur can fund his business with pocket change. But does this negate the use of a business plan? No, entrepreneurs would be wise to write out a business plan. The plan do not have to be comprehensive like in the olden days, but it should still act a road map to accomplish set goals. When starting a on-line business many fail, and the reason they fail is that they lose focus.

And without focus the business gets neglected. It is easy for you to neglect something if you feel it has no value. If you paid a franchise fee of $35,000 you would do everything you can to help that business to grow. Sadly, many on-line entrepreneurs will let their business fall by the wayside, because they did not invest a lot of money. Regardless if you paid 20 dollars or 20,000 dollars your company should have detailed goals for growth. Writing a short and simple business plan will keep your business on the right track to achieve the goals that were set. The way to write a plan is use the K.I.S.S (Keep it Simple Stupid) method. Write 1 or 2 sentences for the mission statement. Write 1 or 2 sentences about the business model and activity. Then follow-up with a few sentences about how the business will grow. That is a simple template on how to write a business plan, and after every quarter of the business year review it. And after reviewing your business plan you can add some time sensitive goals to complete during the year.

How to Write a Business Plan For a Small Business in 5 Simple Steps

Even if your business is not as enormous as the giant corporations, it doesn’t mean you should disregard writing a business plan. In fact, you should learn how to write a business plan for a small business. Why?

Because it gives you structure. It provides your company direction and goals. Without it, you’ll just be like a buoy floating on the water, without any real destination. How do you expect your business to grow successful then?

Learning how to write a business plan for a small business is quite easy. Below are your guidelines.

1) Profile

One of the first things you must consider is writing your company profile. What does your company do in the first place? How long has it been in existence? Who do you cater to? These things will give you a sense of what the company is all about and what it should look like to the customers. This will make sure that you stay on track.

2) Mission-Vision

Every business should have a mission-vision. It doesn’t matter how small or big your company is. A mission-vision also helps keep you on the right path. It reminds you of your business’ goals and aspirations. From here, you can already deduct just how long you plan your business to stay.

3) Objectives

Your objectives will require you to come up with medium-term and long-term goals. When writing a business plan for a small business, this is the part that speaks of what your company is really here for. What does it hope to accomplish?

4) Strategy

How will you achieve your goals and your objectives? How will you fulfill your mission-vision? That is what Strategy is here for.

Here you can write down just how you plan to make things happen. From time to time, you can check this part to see if your strategy is indeed working. If it doesn’t, then you can always change your strategy.

5) Summary

The summary is written at the end of the business plan. It highlights all the important parts and recaps the points that need to be emphasized.

While this part might be longer than the others, it’s also very important. If your customer doesn’t want to read through your whole business plan, they can always look up everything in the summary.

This is how to write a business plan for a small business. Make sure to include all of the above mentioned components to make sure your company stays organized. If your business plan is clear and organized, there’s a higher chance that your actual business will also thrive.

How To Write A Business Plan – 3 More Tips On How To Write A Business Plan

Nobody’s Perfect, But You Have To Be Darn Close

In a document as long as a Business Plan, with the stress of time constraints and the number of revisions that are typically made, it is understandable that there may be a few errors in grammar, or some clumsily worded sections, or even a few math mistakes in the spreadsheets.

But there is a distinction between clumsy wording and not making the slightest bit of sense. There are grammar errors, and there is sounding ignorant. Math errors should only involve rounding, not flubs to the power of 3.

One time I was going to lunch to with a venture capitalist (note to reader: always make them buy) and when I met him at his office he was just finishing reading a plan and had a strange look on his face. “What’s the matter,” I inquired. “Yuck, this Plan has cooties!” was his reply.

Proofreading is a boring, nitty-gritty task, but it should never be overlooked.

Now What?

Stand By Your Business Plan

Before you meet and discuss your Plan with potential financial partners, it is a good idea to prepare for the questions they may ask. You need to inspire confidence right from the initial meeting. Know the plan by heart. Know how it is organized so you can quickly find statistics you wish to quote. Know the formulas used to generate the projections. Invite some advisors or associates over to have a role playing session where they portray the venture capitalist and ask you questions about the business. Be prepared to defend the assumptions you make in the plan; venture capitalists see so many companies and review so many plans each year–about 1,100 per year for the average VC firm–that they are highly skilled in poking holes in flimsy logic. You will likely be surprised at the depth of questions they are able to ask. Be ready for them!

Special Bonus Tip for Your Business Plan

Don’t just say what you’re going to do, explain how. The detailed, concrete steps involved in executing your business strategy are really the heart of planning itself, and will differentiate your plan from all the others the investors get in the mail that sound like wishful thinking.

How to write a business plan can be a daunting task, these tips on how to write a business plan should help.