Business Development For Beginners – 2023-02-01 00:00:00 2023-02-03 00:00:00 https:///r/starting-a-business/business-plan-template/ Starting a Business in English A business plan is a road map for your small For business growth and development. Use this business plan template to set your small business up for success. https:///oidam/intuit/sbseg/en_us/Blog/Illustration/how-to-write-a-business-plan-header-image-us-en.jpg https://https:///r/starting -a-business/business-plan-template/ How to write a business plan in 10 steps + free template |
Whether you are a seasoned business owner or just starting to think about starting a business, you will receive inquiries. In the rush of to-do lists and meetings, deciding how to write a business plan, especially a business plan template, can often seem time-consuming and daunting.
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But according to a recent survey, almost 70% of business owners recommend writing a business plan before starting a business. After all, if done right, business plans have huge benefits.
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However, more than 10% of potential business owners said they did not plan to write a business plan. Another 10% aren’t sure if they need a plan.
It’s more than the old cliché: failure to plan is a plan to fail. In fact, there is now a lot of data on the difference a written business plan can make, especially for small or growing businesses.
In this article, we will show you step by step everything you need to create a successful business plan and turn your idea into reality. Even better, if you’re pressed for time, we’ve compiled 10 steps and examples into a downloadable (PDF) template. The 10 steps to creating a business plan are:
A business plan is a comprehensive guide to the growth and development of your small business. It communicates who you are, what you intend to do, and how you intend to do it. It also helps attract talent and investors.
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A business plan template gives investors an idea of what to expect from your business and tells the story of you as an entrepreneur.
You need a business plan because most venture capitalists (VCs) and all banking institutions will not invest in a startup or small business without a solid, written plan. A business plan not only helps you focus on specific goals, but also gives assurance to outside parties that you are thinking ahead.
In 2018, Business Resource Center Bplans partnered with the University of Oregon to collect and analyze research on the benefits of business planning. Here’s what they found:
Perhaps the strongest evidence comes from the Journal of Business Venturing’s 2010 meta-analysis of 46 separate studies involving 11,046 companies: its findings confirm that “enterprise planning increases performance in both new and established small businesses.”
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Before you save your nine-to-five income, your business plan can tell you if you’re ready. In the long run, it focuses on what you need to accomplish.
Start with a clear idea of the audience your plan will address. Is it a room full of angel investors? The venture capital arm of your local bank? Or you, your managers and employees?
Defining your target audience will help you determine the language you should use to suggest your ideas, as well as the depth you should go to in order to help your readers care.
Even if it comes first in the outline, write the summary last so you can gather the most important ideas from the other nine sections. Leave it as a placeholder for now.
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The executive summary provides all the important information about your company in a relatively short time. An executive summary is usually one page or less. It’s a high-level view of everything and summarizes the rest of your plan. In short, it’s an overview of your business.
Below is an example from the fictional business Laura’s Landscapers. (We use the same company in this guide to make each step practical and easy to repeat.)
This summary focuses on what is often called the value proposition or unique selling point: a long motto aimed at customers, investors and employees.
Market research shows that in Richmond, more affluent consumers are interested in landscape architecture based on sustainable design. However, the region lacks high-end businesses. Only two currently exist—neither of which focus on eco-friendly design and are not certified by green organizations.
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Laura’s Landscapers provides exceptional, sustainable service to consumers with disposable income, large yards and nature lovers.
These elements provide context to the big picture of your business plan, letting investors know the purpose of your company so that the goals make sense.
A mission statement is the reason your company exists. It’s more than what you do or what you sell that’s why you do exactly what you do. Effective mission statements should:
Every part of your plan, more or less. Nothing is truer than your mission statement. Think about what motivates you, the reasons and experiences that led you to start a business, the problems you solve, the broader social issues you care about, and more.
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Advice. Review your mission statement frequently to make sure it aligns with your company’s purpose as it evolves. A message that doesn’t align with your core values or what you actually do can undermine your marketing efforts and credibility.
Don’t worry about turning your company history into a solid story. Instead, you write it as a profile:
Business goals give you clear goals to focus on, like the North Star. These goals should be SMART, ie:
They should also be related to the main results. If your goals are not clearly defined, it is difficult for employees and team members to work towards a common goal. Even worse, vague goals will not inspire investor confidence and will not have a profitable impact on your business.
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Laura Landscapers’ mission is to change the face of our city with sustainable landscaping and help you create the outdoor living space of your dreams.
Founded in 2021 by sisters Laura and Raquel Smith, we have over 25 years of combined landscape design experience. Our four staff members work in teams of two and have already completed 10 projects for Richmond’s most influential business and community leaders.
The next step is to outline your ideal prospect as well as your actual and potential market size. Target markets, also known as personas, identify demographic information such as:
You will concretely demonstrate knowledge and create trust. If your target market is too broad, this could be a red flag for investors.
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The same goes for analyzing your market when you assess its size and financial value. In addition to big numbers that cover the entire market, big numbers that relate to your company’s target market, namely regional numbers or your specific segments. You can even map your customer journey to better understand their wants and needs.
The ideal customer for Laura’s Landscapers is an affluent baby boomer, a member of Gen X or a millennial between the ages of 35 and 65 with high disposable income. He or she – basically, she – is the owner of the house. They are working professionals or recently retired. They love the outdoors and want to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of nature in their backyard, but don’t have the time or talent to do it themselves.
Interest in green, environmentally friendly and sustainable landscaping has grown exponentially in Richmond over the past five years:
Competitive research begins with identifying other companies that currently sell in the market you want to enter. The idea of taking enough time to learn about each of your potential competitors can be overwhelming, but it can be extremely rewarding.
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Take some time to think about what makes you different. If your idea is truly innovative, be prepared to explain the customer problems you believe your business solves. If your company does not have direct competition, research other companies that offer a similar product or service.
Next, create a table or spreadsheet listing your competitors to include in your plan, often called a competitor analysis table.
There are only two high profile architectural competitors in the Richmond residential landscape market: (1) Yuki’s Yard and (2) Dante’s Landscape Design. All other companies focus only on industrial projects or residential maintenance.
This section describes the benefits of your products or services, the manufacturing process and life cycle, and how your business is better than the competition.
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First, throughout their careers, Laura and Raquel Smith have worked for and with Richmond’s three leading industrial landscaping companies. This gives us unique access to the population most likely to use our service.
Second, we are the only company certified by the Richmond Homeowners Association, the National Conservation Society and Business Leaders for a Greener Richmond.
Third, seven of our 10 completed projects have rated us 5 out of 5 on Google My Business, and our price points for those projects put us in a healthy middle ground between the other two competitors.
Your marketing strategy or marketing plan can be the difference between booming sales or no business at all. Growth strategies are an important part of your business plan.
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You can use this section of your business plan to reinforce your strengths and what sets you apart from your competition. Be sure to show what you have already done and what you plan to do