While most people associate business plans with startups and loan applications, it is critical to the health and growth of your company to write your strategy well and update it as your business matures.
Write an Executive Summary
Most business plans will start with summarizing what you will outline in the rest of the document. This should include a brief company overview, including your mission statement, location, products and services.
You will want to research the market for your products and services as well as the costs to start your business and keep it open during an average month. To get the most valuable insights, it is often worth the investment to partner with a professional market researcher. There are a variety of data collection methods in market research, and a professional can help determine which is the best for you in order to accomplish your goals. For instance, if you know that you are targeting a niche audience like pet owners, a professional will help you narrow your market research to identify patterns in the demand for animal accessories and the shopping habits of pet parents.
Describe Your Business
While you penned a brief company description in your executive summary, you will want to go further in-depth and describe every aspect of your business, from the number and type of employees you need to the sources you use for supplies. The better picture of your company a reader can glean from your business plan, the easier it will be to apply for loans, plan out further goals and entice investors.
Plan Your Finances
This is one of the most crucial sections of your business plan because it will not only tell underwriters and investors how you will spend your funding but also serve as a guide to keeping your finances on track. It can also be helpful to compare this plan to the books for the last month when planning your future budget needs and to modify your business plan.
The more work you put into writing your business plan, the easier it will be to set and make growth goals, secure financing and communicate your vision. Putting the work into the research can also help you determine whether you are making the right decisions.