How To Write the Business Plan
Organize all the relevant information about your business. Begin creating section headings and putting the appropriate information under the appropriate headings. Effectively separating your business’ unique approach to each of these headings will organize your plan in a way investors find useful:
- Title Page and Table of Contents
- Executive Summary, in which you summarize your vision for the company
- General Company Description, in which you provide an overview of your company and the service it provides to its market
- Products and Services, in which you describe, in detail, your unique product or service
- Marketing Plan, in which you describe how you’ll bring your product to its consumers
- Operational Plan, in which you describe how the business will be operated on a day-to-day basis
- Management and Organization, in which you describe the structure of your organization and the philosophy that governs it
- Financial Plan, in which you illustrate your working model for finances and your need from investors
Write the executive summary last. The executive summary is basically your big appeal to investors, or really anyone who reads your business plan, that should summarize and articulate what it is that’s great about your business model and product. It should be less about the nitty-gritty details of operations and more about your grand vision for the company and where it is headed.
Gather all the information together and prepare multiple drafts. You’ve done all of the hard work researching, deciding what your business is about, targeting it accurately and selling it. It’s time to put the business plan together and articulate all your thinking, research, and hard work into a comprehensive description of your structure and service.
- At first, do not worry about capitalization, punctuation, and grammar. All you need to worry about is putting your ideas down on paper. Once you have a general form, you can spend time proofreading your plan and correcting mistakes. Have someone else read over it for you and take heed of their comments.
Sell yourself and your business. The idea of the business plan is to present yourself in the best light. The talents, experience and enthusiasm you bring to your enterprise are unique. They provide some of the most compelling reasons for others to finance your concept. Keep in mind that investors invest in people more than ideas. Even if your potential business has many competitors or is not on the cutting edge of an industry, the qualifications and commitment you demonstrate in your plan can convince others to proffer their support.
- Your resume will be included in the separate appendix of exhibits at the end of the plan, so this is not the place to list every job you’ve ever had or the fact that you were an art history major in college. But don’t overlook the impact of some part of your background that might even seem unrelated to your new venture. Focus on group experiences, leadership opportunities, and successes at all levels.
Present and explain your financial data. How will you convince others to invest in your endeavor? By having clear, transparent and realistic financial information that shows you know what you’re talking about and that you’re not hiding anything.
- The accuracy of your financial figures and projections is absolutely critical in convincing investors, loan sources, and partners that your business concept is worthy of support. The data must also be scrupulously honest and extremely clear.
- Since banks and many other funding sources will compare your projections to industry averages in the R.M.A data, in the United States you can use the R.M.A figures to test your projections before the bank does.