No startups are possible without good and efficient business plans. The main reason for writing a business plan is money. Yes, a good and efficient business plan will save tons of your money and prevent you from unexpected and unpleasant losses. Other reasons include only presenting your business or startup to investors.
Needless to say that without a business plan, you will hardly be able to attract investors to your idea. No one will invest in your business unless they clearly understand what your business is about and whether it can be a success.
Lots of business owners and startuppers are afraid to write their business plans since they are just confused about how to do it. In fact, there is nothing difficult in crafting a good business plan, and below, you will find the best five tips on how to do that easily, quickly, and efficiently.
1. Conduct thorough market research
Before you start working on your business plan, it is crucial to conduct in-depth research on the market. Yes, you may think this step has nothing to do with writing a great business plan. However, you would be wrong. Market research is necessary to understand what exactly you are going to write about.
You must analyze the market before you start thinking about how to build your business. You will unlock a lot of findings and definitely, may change your mind about how you see your business. A lot of market leaders share their stories and what steps they had to take to grow their businesses. You, as a newbie in the marketplace, should look for various strategies and make them a part of your business plan.
2. Keep your business plan short
Now, as you have investigated the market and know your competitors well, you can start writing your business plan. However, it is not an essay or dissertation, and it does not require your excellent writing skills or creativity. Vice versa, a good business plan is a short business plan.
Yes, you may have so many brilliant ideas and want to share them with everyone but please, keep them as brief as possible. There are several reasons for it. First of all, you write your plan so someone would read it. Those can be your potential investors or you.
Would your investors have a wish to read 30-100 pages of your plan? It is very difficult to believe that, isn’t it? Therefore, you should keep it short, so the investors would really be interested in it. Otherwise, you risk having your business plan on someone’s shelf forever. It will never be efficient if it is too long. Moreover, no one will ever want to read it and understand the details. Everything must be as precise as possible.
Secondly, a business plan is a paper you often address. You may get back to it many times in the process of work, even if your business has already grown and been successful. Moreover, this document often requires improvement. It will be very difficult to get back and find the information you need in a business plan consisting of 40 pages. Thus, for your own convenience, you should not make it long but really short.
3. Determine your audience
Undoubtedly, you are a great professional in your field and use professional terminology in your business. You and your employees may understand it well, but what about the rest of the people, including your potential investors? When working on your business plan, you should always keep your audience in mind.
The language used in your plan must be understandable to your target audience. You may be working on some scientific research or products; however, if your investors are not related to science, you’d better avoid professional slang and acronyms. Think of your investors since your main goal is to persuade them that your product or service is valuable and worth their money.
Use only those terms they will understand. Make the process convenient for them. Write in the easy language each of them would understand. If you want to explain something in more detail, you can always use appendices and provide explanations of certain terms and notions.
4. Identify your purpose and build your vision
Of course, you need a business plan to make your business profitable. However, money should not be your only goal when thinking of what to write. A business plan is not just the scheme of making money, and it is a sort of a plan to follow, your strategy to stick to.
As an entrepreneur, you must know your goals, i.e., the values of your business, why it was created, and why your employees should want to work for its success and growth. Do not hurry to write; just sit and think of the key values of your business. You must have a team, so one of the ways of determining your purposes is to have an open conversation with its members.
Another key point is to have your vision on what exactly your company is going to deliver. Think well about the accomplishments you want to see. How can you do that? Everything is very easy — just write from three to five key strategies that will allow you to make those accomplishments. It is much better to set up three things to reach than setting up ten and never reaching them. Set up realistic goals, the ones that you will be able to achieve instead of something generalized. After that, you should write the mission statement, i.e., why exactly you are doing your business.
Your mission statement should contain the following information:
- Why you are in this business;
- What you are going to do in it;
- How you are going to do it;
- Who your customers will be and how you approach them.
After completing this statement, it is quite easy to understand why you are unique in this market and how you are going to stand out from your competitors.
5. Test your ideas
According to the principal consultant at Kara Bubb Product Consulting Kara Bubb, business owners should communicate with industry experts and potential consumers in the market, as well as other business owners, with the aim of understanding their viability in the market.
Find some potential customers and experts and ask for their honest feedback. Let them tell their opinions about your business idea. You must understand what market you are targeting and whether it will buy your product. It is also crucial to understand who your competitors are.
It is crucial to test your business ideas before you launch your business. The more you test, the better your business plan will be. Therefore, the more successful your business is going to be. Writing is not difficult but writing itself is not the goal. You do not need a business plan just because everyone has it.
This is a serious document that will guide you through your business path, and it has to be perfect. The problem is you may spend days, nights, weeks, and even months developing an idea that cannot be implemented in life. Testing your idea, though, will save tons of your time and prevent you from failures.
Naturally, just a business plan will not bring you success. However, it would be a good start for you in the market. It is not difficult to create a business plan; just stick to the steps described above, and then, it will not be a problem to create a really workable roadmap for your business.
Chris Adam is a full-time writer at FreeEssayWriters who holds an MBA degree and writes essays and other academic papers in various subjects in business administration and economics for students. Chris is fond of traveling and helping different startuppers with their effective business plans. Sticking to deadlines no matter what and delivering top-quality content is his priority.