A business plan is vital in every business. It serves as a compass that gives you direction in running your business smoothly. You can use your business plan when applying for a bank loan to expand your business or when presenting with potential investors.
Your business plan should be updated consistently as changes happen to keep your business financial information current and to set new business goals.
If you are planning to start a small business or to expand an existing business, you can start with a basic business plan.
Here are some tips on how to create a simple business plan.
1. Determine your goals. Identify the purpose of your business plan. Is it for operation procedures, for potential customers, for investors, or funding? Identifying the purpose of your business plan helps you create a business plan that answers your most burning questions about your business.
2. Recognize the uniqueness of your business. All businesses, even how similar it may look like, are different. Understand and know your product or service and how it differs from others in the market. This will enable you to present your product or service from a different perspective that is outstanding.
3. Prepare your marketing plan. Determine how you will promote your business, your target market, pricing, shipping, and distribution. Create a detailed analysis of your competition and point out how you can get a share in your industry.
4. Layout your business operations. Indicate if and when you will hire an employee or if you want to develop a product. This includes budgeting.
5. Organize all your financial data. If you have none yet, this is where you input the project costs versus income forecast.
6. Collect all legal documents and include them in the business plan. This includes tax returns, loan information, lease contracts, franchise agreements, and any other legal documents related to your business.
7. Print all the documents and compile them in a neat folder. Include a cover page that displays the title of “business plan”, business name, date, address, phone, email, and website and a table of content so viewers can easily navigate to sections they are interested in.
If you’d like to use an even simpler business plan, you can download our one page business plan to get you started on your planning journey.