A business plan for small businesses (SMEs, or small business enterprises) should provide a blueprint of what an entrepreneur wants to achieve and how. Apart from being a game plan for your business strategy, a business plan can also prove to be a great tool for communicating your business’s potential to prospective investors and financial agencies. A well written business plan for funding also acts as a benchmark and helps the business check its progress over time. According to a study conducted by the University of Oregon’s Department of Economics, writing a business plan correlates with increased success in varied business goals like obtaining a loan, getting investment capital, making a major purchase, recruiting a new team and thinking more strategically and growing the company. This was irrespective of the type of company, the growth stage of the company and the intent for the business plan, according to www.smallbiztrends.com. This does not mean that your enterprise will not be successful if you don’t have a business plan. Writing a business plan improves the chances of entrepreneurs achieving success in a timely manner. Read on to know more about tips for writing a business plan.
Essentials of a Business Plan and Tips for Writing It
The most important tip for writing a business plan for SMEs is to keep it clear, concise and realistic. Do adequate research about the current situation and then make plans and projections about your business. Another tip is to avoid bombarding the readers with unnecessary information. Do ensure that any documents or information that you wish to provide to support the plan should be provided as attachments and not included in the plan document itself. A bulky business plan often finds its way in the waste bin or left untouched.
A lot of effort and research go into the writing of a business plan for small enterprises. A good plan reflects the vision of the entrepreneurs besides providing the reader clarity about the targets and the set goals. A well prepared business plan helps avoid costly and disastrous mistakes at a later stage. Many businesses fail because of inadequate planning and lack of clarity. To avoid such a situation you should be clear about the essential components of a business plan and ensure that they form part of your business plan, especially if it is for funding. Here are certain tips for developing good business plans for small businesses.
- Include the Basic Information About Your Business
Ensure that the business plan for your enterprise includes all the basic details such as the name, location, the products and services being offered besides the purpose of creating this business.
- Provide a Clear Description of the Business and Its Legal Structure.
The legal form of your business- whether you are sole a proprietorship firm or a partnership or a company should be specified in your plan. This section should also specify the nature of your business and the products or services that it is going to provide. In case you are an existing business the plan should provide details of your financial and market highlights. Do attach your financial statements along with your business plan to provide readers a clear picture about your finances. In case of a new business, you need to talk about what you aim to achieve and what kind of strategies you are planning to adopt to meet your goals.
- Include Detailed Information About Products and Services
A business plan should clearly spell out the benefit of the products and services supplied by it. This section should also talk about who are the target customers and how are they meeting their needs at present. If your product or services are going to replace an existing product or add value to it, the business plan for entrepreneurs should clearly specify and provide the necessary details.
- Include Information About the Current State of the Industry
This section of your business plan should provide information about the market research or surveys conducted by you to determine the potential of your business. The plan should also include details of the current state of the industry, number of existing players, the products/services offered by them and their strengths and weaknesses..
- Clearly Spell Out Your Sales and Marketing Strategies and Financial Goals
A well written business plan for small businesses is one which clearly highlights the sales and marketing strategies that the businessmen intend to take up to achieve the set financial goals. This section of your plan should talk about ways to reach target customers and create demand for your products via pricing, promotional and other strategies.
- Include Details About Organizational Structure and Profiles of Management Team
Since a business plan summarizes the purpose and structure of your business, it should include details of the various people working in it. Inclusion of an organizational chart with descriptions of various departments and the people working in it makes it easier for the reader to understand the working of a business.
- Attach Financial Statements and Projections
Finances play a key role in the success of any business. So it becomes essential to include ones financial statements and projections in a business plan. Apart from historical financial data, one should also include forecasted figures to provide the readers with a clear picture of the business’ aims. Remember to provide supportive information for your conclusions when writing a business plan.
Business plans are dynamic documents that need to be modified with changing situations and times. They help you look at your business in an organized manner and take steps to make it successful. For creating a good business plan, you can start with a business plan template and modify it according to your own requirements.