10 Nov, 2020 02:14 PM
Admin Category: Business Plan,

How to Write a Business Plan

An essential guide to writing a successful business plan.

A business plan defines what you aim to achieve and how you are going to achieve it. The plan identifies the market opportunity, showcases how your business stands out from others and outlines the strategies to ensure success. So, a good business plan includes the key objectives and strategies which aims to make your business a successful one. 

You can formulate a business plan by using the following instructions. The instructions will give you a structure as a guide to follow. You can also consult your reliable Accountants in London to help you understand our following procedure. 

Why do you need a business plan?

Writing a business plan helps you understand what you are doing and what you should do. It tracks down your activities and guides you through a structured path. It covers all areas of business including objectives, strategies, sales, marketing and financial forecasts.

Writing a business plan helps you:

  • clarify your business idea with a set of objectives 
  • plan your sales, marketing and business operations
  • set out your goals and work out what financing you need
  • spot potential problems and how to overcome them
  • attract investors to raise your capital
  • keep track of your progress

It can also help to convince customers, suppliers and potential employees to support you.

What do you need to consider when writing a business plan?

When preparing the business plan, you need to remember the following three points: 

  • Effective Communication

Communication works as the key factor to a successful business plan. In order to attract investors, suppliers, consumers, partners and skilled employees; you need to convey your idea effectively. In this case, try to avoid including jargons or complicated terms in your business plan. Your business plan should be simple yet understandable, so you need to make things easier for the stakeholders by using the simplest terms, also you can provide an appendix for better understanding. 

  • Keep It Concise 

Keep your business plan brief but comprehensive, which should only include key priorities. Adding too much information makes your plan look too cluttered and complicated which makes the readers less interested. Instead of being drowned with information, your business plan should be readable, understandable and less time consuming to read. To do that, only include the most valuable information and try to keep them with bullet points instead of long paragraphs.  

  • Proper Execution and Tracking 

You might have the most brilliant idea for a business which could hit success straight away, but when the idea is not properly showcased in your plan and not executed later on then your ideas will not have any value of its own. Also, it is important to go through the plan while operating the business to see if you are going in the right track. 

What should your business plan include?

The followings are the most important components of a business plan and the combination of them make a detailed business plan:

  1. Cover page
  2. Table of Contents
  3. Executive summary
  4. Business Overview
  5. Market Analysis
  6. Products and Services
  7. Management Structure
  8. Operations Plan
  9. Marketing Plan
  10. Financial Plan
  11. Appendix

1. Cover page

It is a small but an important part of your plan as it is the first thing readers will see. It will give them an immediate impression as to whether you are professional or not. So the cover page should be simple, neat, and include the following:

  • Company Name
  • Company Logo
  • Date and State of Incorporation 
  • CEO/Owner/Key Contact Information

You can also include a Confidentiality and Nondisclosure Statement but it is optional. 

2. Table of Contents

It should refer the reader to the sections and subsections of the business plan and allow them to quickly skim or flip through to get to the included topic they are most interested in. 

3. Executive Summary

The executive summary is the first part of the business plan to be read by potential lenders and investors. It provides a brief overview of the document and contains its main points. You should include a brief and formal explanation of what your company is, what are your goals, and why it is going to be a successful business. 

It should summarise the business and it should:

  • define the mission statement,
  • identify the stage of the company and its strategic direction,
  • explain the uniqueness as well as competitive advantages
  • describe the company's market and marketing plan, 
  • briefly discuss the background of management, 
  • and state the company's revenue and profit expectations.

The points should be concise, clear and should be written in short paragraphs. The language should be appropriate for the target audience. The summary must have a similar structure and flow as the main document of your business plan.

4. Business Overview

An in-deep overview of the proposed venture. The final aim is to make potential investors quickly grasp the concept of the business and its value proposition.

Offer a description of the business, including:

  • The legal structure
  • Business formation history
  • The type of business
  • Location
  • Means of doing business (Internet, storefront operation, mail order)

5. Market Analysis

Focus on your customers, their likes, needs, and demographics. The aim is to demonstrate that there is really an opportunity for your venture in the market. It should include: 

  • Overall Industry or Market
  • Specific Market Segment
  • Competition
  • Sales Forecasts

6. Products and Services

Explain the history of the business

When did it start trading and what progress has it made to date?

If the business is a new start-up, what is your personal industry background and what progress towards launching the business has been made?

Who owned the business originally?

What is the current ownership structure?

Describe what your product or service is, avoiding technical jargon if possible

In general, what makes your product or service different?

What benefits does it offer? What are its disadvantages and how will you address these?

What changes and improvements are you planning?

Explain any key features of the industry

For example, any special regulations, whether the industry is dominated by a few large companies or any major changes in technology.

7. Management Structure

Set out the structure and key skills of the management team and the staff. It’s advisable to work on a little section that solely discusses the key employees of your company. This is an influential section and can either leave your investors interested in your idea or not. Your investors are interested to know what kind of team will put effort and time behind the business idea and how capable it is to turn that idea into a success story. It is also believed that investors would rather invest in a poor business idea with a great team than investing in a breakthrough idea with an average performing team.

The company overview and team section of your business plan is the one where you will present your business team in front of the investors and convince them that you have the right team in place to execute your business idea successfully. So, we recommend you to give yourself enough time to filter out the best people.

8. Operations Plan

Focus on the daily business activities and the strategies that will support them. With the use of charts, graphs, or tables, you can show complex information such as your breakeven point, your sources of supplies or your manufacturing and distribution process.

9. Marketing Plan

Or the detailed strategy of how are you going to sell your product or service. Focus on the opportunity that your business is bringing, and the customer's buying behavior are primary considerations of a successful marketing strategy. Closely followed by spotting the value that each customer is bringing to your business.

10. Financial Plan

Include all financial information, from startup costs to balance sheets. The financial section should outline:

  • The amount necessary to start or maintain the business
  • The amount needed over the next two, three, and even five years
  • Plans to use funds
  • Anticipated need for additional funding
  • Ongoing business expenses, including salaries, insurance costs, promotional expenses, etc.

Final Thoughts

When you write your business plan, remember to be clear, realistic and concise. It’s important to consider that someone reading it in the future might not be familiar with jargon or more technical terms, so writing it in plain English is advisable.

You should use research and, if possible, evidence, to support your conclusions and include an action plan. Nothing needs to be set in stone, however; business plans are dynamic documents – meaning that you should adjust your plan as your business develops.

In order to sell your business plan to others, first you need to believe in it.

How Taj Accountants Can Help You?

At Taj Accountants, our group of experts offer a wide range of Bookkeeping Services, and Compliance Services. Our client base ranges from individuals who are looking for general accounting and bookkeeping advice to sole traders, limited companies or partnerships. We have worked with a large number of businesses and we understand the importance of conducting the correct financial reports. Our aim is to align your goals with ours and maximize your profit with our services. 

DISCLAIMER: The purpose of the blog is to provide information and insight regarding the situation. The readers must contact experts before making any decisions based on the information. We highly appreciate you to contact Taj Accountants for further assistance.