Now that you have your business idea set up and ready to give it a go, it’s time to come up with a business plan to identify future steps. Business plan is a statement of your business strategies to achieve goals. It is where you defined your ideas, concepts, strategies and any appropriate information of how to make your business successful.
To make it simple, a business plan is a guidance or a roadmap for your business that describe business goals and how your plan to achieve these goals. There’s no absolute idea that business plan has to be formal and long. As long as you get the point and know which path to take, it is good to go.
However, there are some basic information you have to write down and need to describe clearly in the plan. Following is the list of seven essential sections to be included in your business plan. Let’s jump right in.
1. Executive Summary
This is usually the first section in your business plan, which outlines the ideas and clearly define what you actually want in this business venture. So if your business plan shall be read by others such as business partners, investors or appropriate team, it is easily understandable.
2. Business Information
This section defines which industry are you going to enter. And when we say industry, it normally become too general. So, you have to break down which niche within the industry are you going to shoot at. You need to write down all those description as detailed as possible.
- The general business idea
- The concept of your business
- The detail product or service
- The unique selling point or unique selling proposition (USP) of your products or services.
3. Market Strategies
When you came out with the business idea, you could have known which market you’re going to get in. In general, there are three market layers: low, medium and high. But this information may not enough. You have to go much deeper. You can go through this list to better defined the market.
- Are you going to get into low, middle or high-end target market?
- Describe much deeper by describing the right niche within your chosen target market.
- Are you going to sell to a business (Business to Business – B2B) or selling directly to end user (Business to Consumer – B2C)?
- What strategies are you going to use to penetrate the audiences?
- Which advertising or promotional channels are you going to use to reach the market?
4. Competitive Analysis
The purpose of this section is to define the specific strengths and weaknesses of your business compared to the existing competitors within the market. So, roll up your sleeve and do your research. If there’s not much competitions in the industry, you have bigger chance to grab the market. But if there are already many players, you have to come out with the uniqueness, build your strategies and get tactical to steal market share. Not easy indeed, but there is always opportunity.
5. Development Plan
Development plan includes business strategies and development plan. It contains estimation of future business development and strategic point to achieve it. You can come out with tables or charts describing growth predictions of the business, usually yearly.
6. Management and Operational Resources
In order to run your business, you need management and operational plan. It is developed to describe how to manage and operate the business. Here are what you need to plan:
- Who is in charge in the management team and who is the key person or CEO.
- What are the responsibilities of the management team.
- What are the responsibilities of the CEO.
- Define how many team you need and how many people in each team.
- What are the job description of each team and each person within the team.
If you are going to set up a team leader within each team, you need to describe his responsibilities in managing the team.
7. Financial Factors
In every business startup, financial plays an important role. You have to write down certain financial requirements as such:
- Where is the location of your business and how much it will cost?
- How many business tools do you need and how much are they going to cost?
- How many human resources do you need and how much are they going to get paid.
- How much is the operational cost?
- And when sum up, how much do you need to run the business.
When you have written down all the financial aspects of your business, you need to know where to find this capital. There are some sources where you can try to such as:
- Personal savings
- Business partners
- Private investors
- Venture capitals
So, here they are, 7 essential sections to be included in your business plan. If you have other thoughts, do submit them in the following comment box. And if you find this business blog post useful, please share. Sharing knowledge is always a good thing.