5 Tips to Help You Identify The Right MarketJune 3, 2021
If you’ve never written a business plan before or you’re a beginner, the idea of writing one can be overwhelming.
It doesn’t have to be that stressful.
A Business plan is a well written detailed document that explains how a business owner or an entrepreneur plans to carry out the activities that are necessary in a business in order for the business to succeed.
Traditionally, a business plan is used to secure funding from a lender or a potential investor. It serves as something evident to your business, outlining the purpose and scope of your business, identifying the goals, marketing and management, and establishing a basic financial sheet.
Even if you’re not seeking an external funding, and you wish to grow your business all by yourself, it would be wise to put together a business plan. Simply going through the process has value. It will help you develop a clearly defined vision of what you intend to do with your business and how you intend to do it.
Below are some of the questions you should asked and answered yourself before you sit down to write your business plan:
== What “want” will your business fill, and what service or product will you be providing to fill that want?
== Who will be your potential customers (this should be an established, niche market with die-hard buyers).
== Why will people purchase from you as opposed to existing businesses in your niche (in other words … what’s your Unique Selling Position)?
== How do you intend to reach your customers? Social media posts and ads? Your website? Physical door-to-door campaign? Phone calls? or A combination of all these?
== Will you need additional funding and if so, how much will you need and how do you intend to secure it?
Okay, so let’s take a look at what you should include in your business plan.
Most business plans are structured to examine these four primary areas:
1. Executive Summary – a description of the business
2. Marketing – How you intend to market the business
3. Financials – How the business finances will be structured and handled
4. Management – How the business will be managed
Let’s take a further look at these.
Executive Summary: Business plans should begin with an executive summary that describes the basics of the business model. This is what the business will do summarized in one or two pages, its Unique Selling Position, the business goals, its ownership and legal structure, your skills and knowledge and how they will benefit the business.
Marketing The Business: Describe your product or service, identify your market niche, how big it is, and how you plan to reach it. Define your customer, identify your competition, detail your pricing plan, outline how you intend to attract and convert customers.
Financing The Business: Finance details the source of all funds, anticipated returns, a formal monthly cash flow statement and a list of all existing loans and liabilities. Estimate your start-up costs, project your monthly operating budget for the first year, outline your ROI (return on investment) and cash flow for the first year, project your income and expense balance sheet for the first two years, explain how you’re going to compensate yourself, establish who will maintain the accounting records and how they’ll be maintained, and if you’re in need of funding, explain how much you need and how it’ll be used by the business.
Managing The Business: How will the business be managed day-to-day, what the hiring and personnel procedures will be, how the products or services will be developed and how they’ll get into the hands of your customers. You’ll also need to account for equipment the business will need, and how insurance, rental agreements, etc. will be handled.
WHY DO YOU NEED A BUSINESS PLAN?
A business plan is a guidance or a map for anyone who wants to start or is running a business.
Business plan may consume some time to craft them, but in the long term, it will save you much time and cash by getting you all the info you need there from time to time.
It will allow you to make the necessary adjustments to your business and help in wise decision making as you carry on your business activities.
It helps you in presenting your business to bankers or investors in a meaningful way
The real value of creating a business plan lies in the process of researching and thinking about your business in a systematic way.
Below is a sample/template on how business plans should be structured so you can get a better idea on how to write one
Executive summary (Contains the company brief profile, problem, solution/product, competitive edge, market potential, financials, management, vision and conclusion)
1.0 Company overview
1.1 Business description
1.2 Target market
1.3 Vision and Mission Statement
1.4 Goals and objectives
1.5 Critical success factors
1.6 Current milestones
2.0 Products and services description
Detailed description of products and services
Our company provides an array of services tailored to the Internet and computer technologies which are:
Computer business centre: Printing, Photocopying, Scanning, Typing, etc
ICT/Computer training: Web & graphic design, Digital marketing, Data entry & analysis, Desktop publishing, etc
ICT services: Web design/Software development, Digital marketing, Business branding, Consultancy, etc
3.0 Market analysis
3.1 Industry analysis
3.2 Potential challenges
3.3 Handling potential challenges
3.4 Opportunity/Value proposition
3.5 Competitive analysis
3.6 Contribution to local and national economy
4.0 Marketing plan
4.1 Marketing strategy
4.2 Promotional strategies
4.3 Distribution strategies/sales method
5.0 Operational/Production plan
5.1 Office location description
5.2 List of consumables
5.3 Equipment/Capital Expenses
5.4 Production/ Service Process technique
5.5 Pricing strategy
5.6 Proposed price list
5.7 Record/stock control process
5.7a Record keeping documents (books to be kept with reasons). Also state inventory method (FIFO, LIFO, FEFO)
Books that have been kept/to be kept are:
Financial/sales records: To determine how much money comes into and leaves the business over a month.
Operation records: To ensure that quality assurance is in place and operating satisfactorily. Also, to know the amount and type of consumables used on daily basis.
Employment records: Formal documentation of all proceeding related to our employees.
Insurance records: For insurance policy purpose.
Safety records: For occupational health and safety assessments.
6.0 Organizational and management plan
6.1 Ownership of the business
We started as a sole-proprietorship because this is the right business structure for fast growth and sustainability of the business. We plan to upgrade the company from Sole-proprietorship to a Private Limited Company (PLC.) as it expands.
6.2 Promoter profile and management team
6.3 Details of employees
6.4 Table 10: Details of salary schedule
7.0 Financial plan
7.1 Financial assumptions
7.2 Present worth/Asset Valuation
7.3 Expansion capital estimation
7.4 Loan details
8.0 Business risks/SWOT Analyses
8.1 Business risks and mitigation
8.2 SWOT analysis
BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1: Analysis of past operation
Table 2: Competitive analysis
Table 3: List of consumables
Table 4: List of capital equipment
Table 5: Equipment depreciation table
Table 6: Proposed price list
Table 7: Expanding stock
Table 8: Pre-operating activities and expenses
Table 9: Milestones
Table 10: Details of salary schedule
Table 11: Existing items of plant and equipment
Table 12: Existing items of building/furniture & utilities
Table 13: Expansion capital estimation
Table 14: Loan repayment plan
The financial projection should contain minimum of 3 years projections:
3 years Pre-operating expenses
3 years operating expenses
3 years Loan repayment plan
3 years cost forecast
3 years sales forecast
3 years cash flow forecast
3 years Profit and loss forecast
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