A strong business plan is a critical tool to help small businesses get their foot in the door with investors and provide a road-map for your business’ operation as you work to get your company off the ground. There are certain key elements that need to be in a business plan, and there are also some vital considerations that help your plan to stand out and be compelling. Seartec takes a look at how to write a strong and dynamic document.
Get to the heart of the matter
Can you describe your business in a sentence or two? Before even tackling the more detailed sections, you need to find the core proposition your business makes. What are you selling and why is it appealing to your target market? What is that unique selling point that you have to offer? This short statement should clearly describe what your business is about, so that anyone reading it understands this from the outset. Fuzzy descriptions, long-winded paragraphs and taking too long to get to core of your proposition lead to your reader losing interest fast.
Research, research, research
A lot of preparation needs to be done and many decisions need to be made about your business, including financial planning, organisational structure, target market and a host of others. Doing the necessary reading, getting as much information as you can about your business sector, your target demographics, industry trends and economic forecasts can help you to carefully refine your overall strategy. Put plenty of time into this initial step to reap the benefits later.
The financial section of your business plan is particularly important. Investors need to see that you have a considered and realistic budget for the next 3 – 5 years. It can be overwhelming to add up what setting up a business can cost, given that you need to source premises, personnel, infrastructure and stock. Investing in quality equipment makes sense as a long-term strategy but can be a strain on cash flow. Approach suppliers such as Seartec, who can offer competitive rental finance options. This can help you to optimise your cash flow, fix your equipment costs and avoid the financial risks of ownership. Seartec also offers a very wide range of office products and solutions that suit businesses of any size and with any budget, include cloud-based solutions, audio-visual set up, office equipment, security solutions and even the most cost-effective way to purchase stationery. Learn more about the Seartec by downloading our company profile.
A business plan should include: A company description, including what your products or services are and some information around production and pricing, as well as your target customer base; a section on company structure including proposed employees and roles, and some information on yourself, such as background and experience; a marketing and sales strategy; and a market analysis which reviews your competitors and where you can position yourself in the market. Finally, the entire document should be prefaced with an executive summary, which should be a brief overview of what your business is about. It is useful to write this section last, once the other sections have been worked out and are clear in your mind.
Lastly, there are a number of apps and websites that provide additional guidance and resources on writing a business plan, including Enloop, StratPad and Business Plan Premier . The US Small Business Administration website is also a useful resource.
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