Business Planning for the small business owner is not an optional activity. It is
an essential document for applying a loan. Who would lend someone money for a business
that is only in their head? The business plan is also a guide to help you identify
and meet your business goals.
What is a Business Plan?
The business plan has information on:
Business goals - what you are attempting to achieve?
Business strategies - ways to meet your business goals.
Potential problems - what you need to overcome and how you might go about overcoming
Organization structure - important if you are going to have employees besides yourself.
Capital required - amount of financing required to keep your business alive until
the break even mark.
How to Write Business Plans - Steps by Step Guide
You can follow these 7 steps to a drafting your own business plan:
Executive Summary - describes concisely the product or service that you want to sell,
the business that you are in, and the amount of financing that you are seeking.
Business Description - it further describes in detail the business, the industry,
your product or service, and any unique features of the product.
Market Strategies - tell the reader about the market, size and growth. What is the
sales potential and what % market share will you capture? Describe the price, distribution,
and sales strategies that you will use to achieve your sales and market share goals.
Competition - identify who are your competitors. What are their competitive advantages?
What are their weaknesses? How are you going to be better than them?
Product Design & Development - describe the product design and how you are going
to develop the product. Diagrams, specifications, and timelines are appropriate
for this section.
Operations & Management Plan - describe the structure, the people and their qualifications
and how they are going to run the company on a daily basis. What are their roles
Financial - you need to include income statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements
for this section.