Many people are afraid of the idea of preparing a business plan because they think it is a complicated set of unnecessary documents which exist only to make their life more difficult. Business plans are necessary because they help an entrepreneur to see his business. Instead of talking in abstract terms about the customer base and the profit potential, a business plan helps to see the business deals in concrete terms. A business plan also forces an entrepreneur to think through every aspect of his business in advance. These plans also make other people interested in someone’s business. A business plan shows people that the creator of it is professional and he understands what it takes to start and manage a business. If external funding, loan or investment is needed business plan is all the more necessary.
A business plan should cover five main sections which are listed below.
- Executive summary: This section technically appears first, but entrepreneurs write it last as it is the summary of an entire business plan. Many readers do not go beyond the executive summary, so this should contain the gist of all sections and such readers should get an overall idea about the particular business just by going through this section. Therefore, an entrepreneur must make sure that this section is comprehensive and well-written. An entrepreneur must read the entire business plan before writing the executive summary. The information which will stand out to a reader must be included in the summary.
- Company overview: This is the guiding force behind every business. This section gives the mission statement, objectives of the business and what the entrepreneur has in mind for the business. Writing this section will be slightly difficult for the first time business plan writers.
- Business environment: This section includes information related to the particular business which is being talked about, the market and competition. Some outside research will be required for writing this section effectively. Entrepreneurs should know the major competitors in the industry and differentiate themselves from rest of the group.
- Company description: All the details of the proposed business must come under this section. Simply defining the company in terms of what it sells is not sufficient. There should be descriptions about what the company serves, what resources are used, what kind of employees the business is looking for, what type of distribution method will be used etc. All these together constitute the company description.
- Action plan: This is the last part of a business plan where the business owner outlines the steps needed to make the plan work. These should reflect the goals and objectives of the company that occurred in the company overview. In addition to these basic pieces of a business plan a financial section may also be needed if outside funding, or loan is required for the business.
Goal setting and goal achievement process should be sustainable in order to execute a business plan effectively. This is not taught to majority of the individuals. A business owner should make the necessary arrangements to train his people in goal setting and goal achievement process. Everyone should be part of the process and an appropriate division of labor for achieving the business goals will make it easy for the business owner and to his team to function effectively. Regular meetings should be convened to monitor the progress of the business deals. Everyone in the business team should be accountable. Monitoring the plan should create personal accountability. Then everyone will work diligently and in a responsible way. The achievement should be conveyed to everyone and the continued motivation is very much necessary for sustaining the vigor in work. Communication of the plan’s status through the achievement of goals is a sure way to ensure continued motivation of everyone involved in the concerned business.
Author Bio: Dora Houston is currently working as a writing expert at business plan writing service, an online platform for dissertation help and other writing assistance. She also provides help to students on career possibilities and other academic success related topics. Besides, she enjoys writing about current trends and innovations in education, technology, motivation and traveling.