Early Stage Start-Ups Don't Need to be Terrified of Business Plans!

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So you've started a new business - congratulations!

While growing your business, you're bound to come across many, many things you have no clue about! One of these may be having to put a Business Plan together. If you've never done this before, it can be quite stressful, especially if you have a looming deadline to apply for a loan or overdraft, a competition, or maybe some other type of funding which needs a short (5 to 15 pages approximately) Business Plan.  

But don't panic - at this stage you don't need a huge plan running to hundreds of pages. What you do need is something that is easy and pleasant to read for the person assessing your plan, and that makes it clear what your business is. You should tell the reader what they need to know - not what you want them to know; these are not necessarily the same thing!

If you know what the criteria is for assessing your Business Plan, make sure you have addressed all the points.

Some things you might want to cover include:

  • An overall Summary, generally known as an Executive Summary
    Write this last, referring back to the most important points in your subsequent sections
  • Overview
    Describe your business - the industry, your product/service, your customers, how the business will work
  • Products or Service
    You can go into more detail to explain to the reader what you are doing in more detail
  • Market Opportunity
    How big is the market? Can you back these figures up? Where are your potential customers?
  • Sales and Marketing
    What part of the market are you going to target initially? How? Who are the potential customers here? Have you worked out your pricing model? Who are your competitors and what are they doing?
  • Operations
    How is your business going to be run? How are responsibilities divided up among the team?
  • The Team
    Show that the people involved have the ability as well as the will to make the business successful.
  • Financials
    The better you understand your figures, the better you can run your business. List your projections for 3 years (don't worry about the fact that you may be pre-revenue and this is guesswork; just make sure the figures are realistic and have been arrived at in a way that makes sense). Don't, for a minute, underestimate the importance of this section!

If you found the above information helpful, you might find the more detailed article on bizassist.io even more useful!

 

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