Updated: Jan 11
What is a business plan?
A Business Plan is the blueprint for a business's future. It lays out what the business is, who it serves, where it operates, what its goals are and how it will achieve them.
It is not known when or where the first business plan was written but it has been used in various industries for centuries.
Business plans typically cover introductory information about the company's mission statement, current financial position, expected growth rates and future opportunities.
Why & When do you need a business plan ?
A business plan ensures that you have a clear vision for the future and a written plan to get there.
Planning is important for any company, but it is even more critical for startups. The company may not have a formal team or any significant past experience in their industry. It doesn’t matter how much experience the founder has in developing startups, because there are so many variables to take into account.
What will set your startup apart from others? What are your goals? What market should you target? What resources do you need to reach these goals and what resources do you need to sustain the business in the long-term?
5 pointers to create the best business plan
● Make a chart or product roadmap
For beginners, you can throw away the expectations of a long, formal created document. You can avoid all the formatting, full sentences, and also paragraphs of text . Make it simple .
● The more you know your customers, the better
It is important to know your buyers and their behavior. From the buyer’s perspective, it is important to see what they want and need. For a marketer it is also important to know the pain points of the buyer and how they can provide them with value.
There are many ways marketers can find out information about their buyers such as surveying them, doing predictive analysis, reading customer reviews and understanding their buying habits.
The most popular way for marketers to understand their customers is through surveying them. Surveys allow marketers to understand critical factors that affect customer behavior such as:
Pain points: Customers share with you the things that frustrate them
Needs: Customers share what they hope you'll offer them in order for your products or services to be of value
● Test your business idea
The test for a good business model/idea is being able to talk to people about it, and take feedback.
After briefly discussing the section topic, there are two points that need to be addressed.
1. The first point is that you should talk to people about your business idea and ask them for feedback.
2. The second point is that the test of a good business model is whether or not you can talk about it and take feedback from people on it
● Set realistic goals
If you're a newbie, don't set unrealistic goals for yourself. It will just lead to a sense of disappointment and you will then start blaming the system. Try to plan your work properly, break it down into small steps and then take one step at a time.
The first step is to create your objective. Set realistic goals for yourself and be honest about your limitations as well as what you can actually do.
After this, set deadlines for different tasks so that you have a timeline of how far in advance you need to know what's needed from where?
Next, have a proper plan with deadlines on when each task needs to be completed. This will help you stay motivated and not feel overwhelmed by the task at hand. Lastly, break down the task into small steps that are manageable
● Be flexible with your plan
A successful plan always includes a contingency plan. In other words, it’s important to always be ready to make changes if required. Whenever you have a plan, no matter what kind of project you are working on, don’t hesitate to make changes if required. You should always be flexible with your plans and do not love your first plan.
A business plan is a detailed document that includes all the information related to the project, its objectives, financial forecast, and risks. It also includes an executive summary which is a short presentation for your business plan.
This eBook is an overview of the research, execution and analysis processes in developing a business plan. It gives you an in-depth understanding of how to develop a business plan that will help you build a sustainable future for your business.