For any company that needs help writing a business plan, this blog is a must-read and will show everything needed to know. A business plan is a document that includes a description of businesses’ core operations, strategies, and forecasts. It is a comprehensive document used by a variety of stakeholders including shareholders, managers, and creditors. If you need help writing a business plan, there are a few key sections that must be included in every business plan including an executive summary, competition and market analysis and financial projections. Business plans often help companies to identify their objectives and help start-up before supporting their growth. A company may need help writing a business plan from a professional team who can thoroughly research the market industry and trends and create a detailed outlook of a potential business venture. Business plans often set out the strategic blueprint and action plans for the next one to five years, or sometimes even longer.
What does a business plan consist of
A complete business plan consists of many sections including an executive summary, market, competition and SWOT analysis and financial plans and forecasts. Business plans should make it straightforward for potential business partners and investors (see our guide to start-up investing) to understand the basic business model and key financials. Business plans are also required to be submitted with government grants and loan applications and it is important to have a detailed plan to successfully apply. It is highly recommended for business plans to visualise data through graphs and tables. Furthermore, an appendix is included with a comprehensive business plan which provides copies of supporting documents, such as personal statements, CVs, and reference letters. Using business plans can help businesses to evaluate and analyse the market competition. Every company has competition in either direct or indirect forms, and it is crucial to understand your business’s competitive advantages which are presented within business plans. Additionally, if a business does not have any competitive advantages, it is important to figure out how to gain them. The biggest problem for small businesses to overcome is penetrating the market to reach new customers. As a result. for many business owners, the most important section of a business plan is the marketing strategy, and developing it takes plenty of time. There are two purposes of the marketing strategy section. Firstly, it is important to figure out the size of the market, owners need to know if there will be a sufficient amount of customers to buy products or services for the business to generate revenue. Secondly, it is vital is to research the potential customer so appropriate methods of marketing can be used to convert the audience into paying customers.
Fig.1 The table shows cash flow projections which are often used shown in business plans to provide a breakdown of future income and expenses.
Why would a company need help writing a business plan?
Business plans are important for many businesses, from start-ups to mature companies. They allow companies to seek funding and are used by potential investors or creditors to get a good idea of the business and its industry. When pitching to investors a business may need help writing a business plan and a pitch deck to maximise chances of successfully obtaining funding. Start-ups generally do not have much if any revenue so it is difficult to prove if a business will be a good investment. As a result, business plans require realistic financial projections, analyses of the market, and details on the strengths and weaknesses of the business are crucial. Writing a business plan can also help businesses make critical spending decisions as they can bring clarity to the decision-making process on whether to buy, lease or rent and can help determine the optimal number of resources allocated to those assets. A great business plan can also help businesses decide if it is realistic to acquire additional office, retail, or warehouse spaces. Management of new start-up businesses can be focussed on operations rather than creating a business plan and for this reason, new and emerging businesses may need help writing a business plan because of the levels of market analysis and focus required.
Writing a business plan can also help businesses to identify potential weaknesses in their business ideas. Sharing the plan with others who can provide their specialist opinions and advice. Identifying experts and professionals who are in a position to provide invaluable advice and can examine the business plan to provide specialist advice. For established businesses, a business plan can help attract new senior management or technical specialists such as Chief Technical Officers or Chief Marketing Officers.
Fig.2 (Source: Palo Alto Software) The chart above shows the importance of business plans on business growth, securing investment capital and acquiring loans. The success rate for each objective is significantly higher with business plans than without.
Creating an effective business plan is time-consuming and a business may need help writing a business plan, but businesses need to be successful if they are going to survive the start-up stage. If a business does not have a business plan, then perhaps they should reconsider as the impact of writing a great business plan can significantly help to clarify where the business is and where it is going. It may be easier and more beneficial for start-ups to enquire with professionals to create their business plans. At the end of the day, a business plan is essential for raising capital. Venture capitalists, government-backed creditors, and a majority of angel investors will require a comprehensive plan to understand the risks of a business venture and understand its viability. There are key components to every great business plan, and it is essential to provide a clear and accurate summary of the business goals.
Creating a business plan requires thorough consideration, comprehensive research, and brainstorming. Whether the business plan is for use by the management or if a creditor has requested one, the research and information contained will be very valuable to the success of any business. It is especially important for start-ups and high growth companies intending to progress to the next level of operations. Eugene Kleiner, a famous venture capitalist once said that creating a business plan forces owners into disciplined thinking. A business idea may sound great, but when all the details and numbers are written, it could easily fall apart.
Whichever approach you decide to take when writing up a business plan for your business, whether it’s reaching out to a company like ours to do it for you, using a template from the sources I’ve mentioned previously or doing it completely from scratch. Business plan writing is a complex task, you must research your industry, understand your business and its finances and so much more. The journey to achieving a successful business is a difficult one but as you overcome hurdles like business plan writing, increasing the chances of success for your business it will slowly become more rewarding and not just financially.
If you need any assistance in preparing a business plan, expansion business plan or any other services please get in touch with us.