How to write a business plan - Part One

 

When it comes to starting a business, one of the most important steps is to write a business plan. This document will outline your business goals, strategies, and how you plan on achieving them. While it may seem like a daunting task, there are a few key things to keep in mind that will make the process a lot easier.

 

First, your business plan should be clear and concise. It should be free of any fluff or filler and get straight to the point. Second, make sure to do your research. Know your industry inside and out, and be sure to include any relevant data or statistics in your business plan. This will show that you’ve put in the work.

 

This is a summary of what we will discuss in Part 1 and Part 2:

 

Part 1

 

The Executive Summary

The Company 

People in your Business

 

Long & short term Goals

Market Analysis & Customers

Key Competition Analysis

 

The Products and Services

Marketing

Social Media Strategy

 

Part 2:

 

The Financial Plan

Sales Forecast & Start Up Costs

Cashflow

 

Profit & Loss

Funding

 

You can find the blogpost for part 2 here.

 

The Executive Summary

The executive summary is the first section of your business plan and it’s important to make a good first impression. This is where you’ll give an overview of your business, including your company history, products or services, and your target market and customers. You’ll also want to briefly touch on your financial situation, including your start-up costs, projected revenue, and any other relevant financial information. Keep it short and to the point – you can always go into more detail in the rest of your plan.

 

The Company 

In your business plan, the company description section provides an overview of your company, including your mission statement, business model, and a brief history of your company. Another point to consider is a summary of your products and/or services.

 

This section should also include a SWOT analysis, which is a critical assessment of your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. How you will solve a problem or satisfy the needs of customers? How do you stand out compared to the competition?

 

The company description should be both informative and concise – it should give readers a snapshot of your business without overwhelming them with too much information.

 

People in your Business

 

Identify the roles within your business and all people involved. Specify their roles, experience, skills etc. For any larger organisations focus on the senior team and how the business is structured. Analyse any skill gaps and if any external resources are used. What are their salaries and other staff costs.

 

Long & short term Goals

 

You should create a list of goals that your business should clearly strive to achieve in the short and long term. Check all of these goals are specific, detailed, and time-bound.

 

The following sections of your business plan will flow from this and explain how you plan to achieve the targets you’ve set out. Please ensure your goals are achievable and realistic. 

 

Examples:

*Sell 200 units per month by the end of Q4.

*Have a social media marketing plan in place by …

*Have a marketing team in place by …..

 

Market Analysis & Customers

You can’t just jump into writing a business plan for your startup without first doing your market analysis. This is an important step that will help you to understand your industry, your competitors, and your target market and customers. It will also help you to determine what your business’s unique selling proposition (USP) will be. 

 

To do a market analysis, you will need to research your industry, your competitors, and your target market. You can find this information online, through government statistics, or by talking to experts in your industry. Once you have gathered all of this information, you will need to analyze it and determine what it means for your business. This step is crucial to writing a successful business plan for your startup.

 

Key Competition Analysis

 

Analyse and understand the customers of your competition. You can check online reviews for this to get an understanding of their customers. Include pricing information if you can and develop a SWOT analysis of your competition.

 

The Products and Services

One of the most important sections of your business plan is the products and services section. This is where you’ll describe what your business offers, how it benefits consumers, and how it differs from other businesses in your industry.

 

Please include your entire range of the products/services you are offering with photos. Think about how you can upsell, cross-sell and keep your customers. What offers will you have on a regular/seasonal basis?

 

Compare your pricing and characteristics of products with your competition. Include your trademarks or any copyrights in this section as well. What is the target audience for each product/service?

 

Marketing

The marketing plan is a vital component of any business plan, and it’s something that you’ll need to put a lot of thought into if you want your startup to be a success. Here are some tips on how to write a marketing plan for your startup:

 

1. Define your target market. This is the first and most important step in creating your marketing plan. You need to know who your target market is before you can start marketing to them. Please provide detailed information of the market you will operate in. What is shaping this market and how may it change? How has it changed in the past?

 

2. Research your competition. Knowing who your competition is and what they’re doing is essential for developing a successful marketing strategy.

 

3. Create a unique selling proposition. What makes your startup different from the competition? How will your product/service change the market?

 

Social Media Strategy

 

A social media strategy is a plan of action for using social media platforms to achieve specific business goals. The most common goals of a social media strategy are to build brand awareness, generate leads, or increase sales. To create an effective social media strategy, businesses need to identify their target audience, choose the right social media platforms, and create content that is engaging and aligned with their brand.

 

Your social media strategy should include a mix of content types, from blog posts and articles to images and videos. You should also mix up the formats, so that your content is engaging and interesting. For example, if you are posting a blog article, you could also include an infographic or a video. It is also important to be active on social media, and to respond to comments. Once you know who your target audience is, you can begin to create content that appeals to them. Without a target audience, your social media strategy will be unfocused and your message will be lost.

 

End of Part 1

 

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