8 Tips to Write your Own Business Plan

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8 Critical Tips to Write your Own Business Plan

8 Critical Tips to Write your Own Business Plan

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Dr Thommie Burger is the Founder of JTB Consulting

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With a Business Plan, you can spot potential weaknesses, opportunities and threats early on, and you can also begin to build real financial projections and forecast growth. After all, it may be hard to convince investors or lenders to back your business if you don’t have a viable Business Plan in place. Ready to get started? Here are eight steps that will help you create a comprehensive business plan that will set the foundation for your company’s future success:

 

Create an outline of your business plan first.

Before writing your business plan, you should create an outline that identifies the sections of your plan. These include:

  • Competition Analysis
  • Target Customer Profile
  • Marketing Strategy and Other Growth Plans
  • Operations and Processes

 

Review the competition and industry environment.

It would be best if you understood the competitive landscape of your industry, market, niche and business. You should also understand the competitive landscape of your product and service.

 

Write a company description that outlines what makes your company unique.

  • Why is your company different from your competition?
  • What are the strengths of your company? How will you leverage them to create value for customers, investors and other stakeholders?
  • What are the weaknesses of your business model or operations – what risks must be mitigated to make your plan successful? Be honest with yourself here!
  • Describe the mission of the business. You should also state objectives for each year covered by this plan that supports its long-term success (e.g., “For the fiscal year 2022, we intend to increase sales revenue by 20% over 2021 levels”).

A good business plan does more than describe present realities; it also lays out plans for future action. It’s no surprise then that most investors prefer entrepreneurs who have clearly identified their goals before approaching them for funding capital – after all, money doesn’t grow on trees!

Describe your target customer.

Understanding your target customer is important because it will help you better understand why they want to buy from you and how they plan on paying for it. So here are some questions to ask:

  • What do they want?
  • Why do they want it?
  • How will they use it?
  • How will they pay for it (e.g., credit card or debit card)?
  • Finally, how will they try to get what they want (e.g., look online)?

 

Include your marketing plan strategy.

The marketing plan is an important part of a business plan. Therefore, it should be based on the business plan, and it should include:

  • A description of the target market, including demographic information, psychographic information and behavioural patterns.
  • The product or service you will be offering.
  • Your marketing mix (the four Ps: product, price, place and promotion).

The last element in your marketing strategy is your budget for each phase of the implementation process.

 

Detail your operations and processes.

  • Include detailed information about your operations and processes.
  • Describe the steps involved in your business, from how you receive an order to how you deliver it to the customer.
  • Include information about the quality of the products or services you provide.
  • Include information about the quality of the workplace environment in which these processes occur.

 

Prepare a detailed financial plan, including projected income statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements.

A financial plan is a document that outlines how much money you need to start and run your business. It includes projected income statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements. For example:

  • An income statement shows the revenue from sales compared to expenses for a specific period of time (usually monthly or annually). This will help you determine whether your business is profitable.
  • A balance sheet shows the assets, liabilities and equity of a company at a specific point in time. The equity portion represents ownership in the company and any retained earnings (the difference between profits made by the company and dividends paid out).

 

Include an appendix with support materials, such as resumes, permits and leases.

  • Create a table of contents that includes the sections of your plan and the page numbers on which each section begins.
  • Create a summary table for each section in your plan that lists its goals, objectives, strategies and resources.

 

Creating a business plan takes time, and it helps if you take it one step at a time.

Writing a business plan can seem overwhelming. There’s so much to think about, and it can be hard to know where to start. But the good news is that creating a business plan doesn’t have to be overwhelming or complicated if you break it down into small steps. The first step in writing your own business plan is creating an outline of what you want the finished product to look like. You don’t need anything fancy; just write down the main points on paper or in Microsoft Word, noting each section and sub-section as you go along. Once this is done, sit back and take some time off from working on your outline—it may take two hours or two days, depending upon how long your outline is!

Once you feel ready again (and maybe after sleeping on it), move on to the research phase: researching potential competitors, reviewing industry trends/statistics, etc., all while still staying focused on keeping track of everything related specifically to your company’s context only—so no worrying about what other companies are doing unless they’re direct competitors!

A business plan takes time to write, but it’s important to start before beginning your business. A complete and thorough business plan is vital for any startup business. It guides the entrepreneur, keeps them on track and helps them stay focused on their goals.

 

More Free Articles and Insights from JTB Consulting

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Established in 2006, we have successfully written hundreds of bankable and world-class Business Plans for clients across 25 countries. As South Africa’s Leading Business Plan Company, we are confident that we would be able to assist you too. Kindly note that we also offer “Investor Pitch Decks”, “Excel-based Financial Models”, and “Proposal/Tender Writing Services” in addition to our Custom Business Plan Writing Service. Please visit our Services page for more information.

We look forward to being of service to you. Please feel free to contact our Founder, Dr Thommie Burger, on +27 79 300 8984 should you have any questions. He is also available via email and LinkedIn.

JTB – Your Business Planning Partner.

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