What Type of Business Plan Do You Need to Write?

What Type of Business Plan Do You Need to Write?

There are a few different types of business plans…

A business plan is basically a road map to success for your business.

Many individuals have great ideas for businesses, but can never get that business off of the ground.

A business plan details all of the facets of a business and explains how it will be successful.

If you are thinking of beginning a business, start with a business plan.

As a business owner, you should use these as a guide to thinking about how to make your business plan work.

Feasibility Business Plan

Feasibility Business Plan

A feasibility business plan is a study conducted prior to initiating a business plan.

Whether you are an established business launching a new product or an individual with a new idea.

A feasibility plan is that part of a business plan that will help you and your investors determine if your idea will thrive.

Write a cover letter to potential investors outlining your product or idea.

Show how you have researched and come to a conclusion that your product or idea is viable.

Sum up your analysis in an executive summary outlining the main points of your research.

Provide information on your product, potential buyers and why you believe your venture is ideal.

Describe your product or idea in detail.

List your potential customers and explain their views about your product or idea.

Explain how customers will use the product.

Lay out the infrastructure.

Indicate where you intend to house the business and if you intend to rent or buy.

Describe the technology you will use.

Include information about the competition and their share of the market.

Indicate their strengths and weaknesses and critical risks factors to your venture.

Show financial projections for at least 3 years.

Estimate your rate of return.

Conclude with supporting statements why this idea or product is feasible.

Credit the resources used to support your feasibility business plan.

start-up business plan

Start-Up Business Plan

This is the most common type of business plan.

Starting a small business can be exciting, but it is also a lot of work.

Writing a solid business plan provides a focus for the business and improves the chances of securing financial support from potential lenders.

If you conduct an Internet search on writing a business plan, you will find a lengthy list of entries.

This list includes businesses that develop plans for you, articles from a variety of publications and a plethora of advice.

Despite all this, there is no one format to follow in developing your business plan.

However, there are key components to every successful start-up business plan.

 

When writing your business plan, start with Steps 1 and 2 below.

Steps 3 through 8 include crucial information that can appear in the order that makes most sense to your business concept as long as they flow logically.

Conclude with Step 9, which will include your supporting research.

Step 1: Executive Summary

Here you summarize the key elements of your business. Who are you and what product/service are you offering?

Step 2: Company Description

This is your opportunity to introduce your company and your business concept to the reader:

Your prospective customer, your financial institution, your mentor, etc.

What is the industry and how does your business fit into the industry?

Why is there a need for your business?

Who are your customers?

Step 3: Market and Competition

Use this section to identify who else is doing something similar.

What services do they offer and what are you offering?

If you are entering a market with much competition, how will you stand out from the crowd?

If there is no competition, how will you grow the market?

You want to stand out and show you can make a profit in this business.

Step 4: Strategies and Goals

How is your business going to fit into the existing market?

How are you going to maximize your positioning within that market?

What are your business goals in the first year?

After five years?

After 10 years?

If the market is overcrowded, how are you different?

Why would customers seek your product/service over others?

Step 5: Products and Services

Describe your specific products and/or services.

How are these different from what is currently available or why does the consumer need your business?

What supports your success in this business?

Relate this to your market research done earlier.

If you have created a unique method to create or deliver your product, include that here.

Paint a picture of what your business will contribute to the market.

Step 6: Marketing and Sales

What is your plan for marketing your business?

How will you meet the strategies and goals you identified above?

Are you using traditional methods of “advertising” such as direct mail, newspaper advertising or radio?

Or, do you plan to utilize social media and Web-based advertising?

Be specific.

Be creative.

You want to attract attention to your business; how will you do this?

Step 7: Business Management, Operation and Organization

What is the structure of your business?

structure of your business

Will it be sole proprietor, partnership, group of your buddies, a franchise?

How are the key players qualified?

What education or experience makes them qualified?

What is the role of the key players?

Who is the creative brain, the financial whiz or the expert in business operations?

How does that contributor know about these products/services?

Who is in charge?

How will you operate your business?

Will it be home-based, storefront or mobile?

Step 8: Financial Prospectus

Here is where you forecast successful operations.

If you have more than one product/service, be specific regarding the performance of each area.

This is also where you project what financial support will be required to make your business successful.

What resources will you commit for this financial support, such as savings, loans from a financial institution or money from investors?

Include details for each resource that touches on who has pledged money and how much.

Step 9: Exhibits/Documents

Attach to your business plan any necessary supporting materials.

This could include documentation of the qualifications of individuals, copies of financial resources available, pertinent research into your industry, or anything else that supports your success in your business endeavor.

The final document should be on stationery and quality paper with a sans-serif font, such as Arial or Verdana, in 12 point font.

Use a professional report cover for your business plan.

Separate and label the sections.

Make sure it is free of errors by having someone you trust proofread the final document before you submit it.

You only have one opportunity to make a great first impression.

Make your presentation professional and complete.

A great idea with poor presentation will not support your success.

Strategic Business Plan

Strategic Business Plan

A strategic business plan deals with the strategy you plan to employ for a certain project.

Perhaps you plan to launch a new product or offer a new service.

Perhaps you want to lower your marketing budget, or restructure the company.

This can all be done with a strategy business plan, where you brainstorm how a project can be done.

A successful strategic business plan begins with a simple outline of the plan.

If the plan resists outlining, the plan concept needs further work until you can outline it.

For many small businesses the outline alone will suffice as a strategic guideline.

For more complex businesses you can fill in the outline further, but the outline itself should always come first.

1. Establish a strategic goal.

2. Consider the various possible avenues that will lead your business to that goal.

You may need more business from current clients; you may need more clients like the ones you have now; and you may need new clients with bigger budgets.

These are intermediate goals you need to meet as you work toward your ultimate goal.

3. Determine what you can do right now to achieve your goals.

Such as, to get more business from current clients, you could start by phoning each of them to set up a meeting to discuss their needs and how you can better fulfill them.

Address your other intermediate goals in similar fashion, establishing steps for each, and detailing in a few words the execution of each step.

4. Write out your plan based upon your goal, the intermediate goals needed to achieve your goal, and each of the steps needed to achieve each intermediate goal, detailing each step in a few words.

Growth Business Plan

Growth Business Plan

A growth business plan is necessary for those who own businesses that are moderately successful, and who are ready for the next level: growth.

A growth plan details how the business will grow.

It gives a target date or a basic itinerary for the projected growth period, and details how that growth will take place:

Perhaps through aggressive marketing, more investors or better production.

Although writing a business plan is very comparable to a growth business plan…

It differs in that a business growth plan concentrates on how you will actually achieve your desired progress.

The growth plan aids in keeping the business on track and in line with preferred efforts towards the advancement of the company.

1. Study the past successes of your company and use this to create new ideas for future achievements.

Also, study your competition, the trends of your target market, and economic trends to forecast your growth plan.

2. Look over the business growth plans of various others companies that have seen great recent success in both your industry as well as other industries.

Use their ideas as motivation to create your own development strategy, unique to your company and its employees.

3. Determine where your expansion opportunities are.

Figure out if you should open your company to new products or services, target a new market, physically expand your locations both at home and abroad, become more technologically user friendly, or any combination of such.

Find where you want your company to go, and figure out the actions to get it there.

4. Assess your current company employee’s efficiency, abilities, and adaptability as well as your own.

This will help you realize what you can or cannot do with your current staff, if you will need to hire supplemental staff and what skills they should attain, and/or what training will need be needed to move you in the desired direction of your development strategy.

5. Assess your company’s current technology and acknowledge any need for updating operating systems and computer networks to assist and adapt to the new developments.

6. Create a thorough proposal on how you will raise excess capital to support the expansion.

Begin with looking at the financial stability of your company as it is in its current state.

Get an analysis of your business’ finances and see if funding your development is possible with internal growth or if outside funding is necessary.

7. Generate a high intensity marketing strategy that will catapult your new development efforts into the population’s conscious.

Include this in your business growth plan and especially focus on how your marketing efforts will continue and develop with the expansion of your company.

The concentrated marketing will aid your new development strategy in taking the reins, demonstrating its effectiveness and the necessity of growth within the company.

8. Collaborate with a business owner that has successfully expanded his or her company as you are trying to do.

Advice from someone who has been in your position and has gotten to where you want to be is invaluable and should be a highly regarded method in your business development plan.

9. Write your business growth plan. This should include the following:

Explanation of development opportunities.

Financial plans per each quarter as well as yearly.

Marketing strategy you will utilize to accomplish said growth.

Financial breakdown of internal or external capital and its accessibility throughout the development process.

The company’s employee breakdown of what will be needed, cut, and expanded including the new skill set necessary of each position.

Operations Business Plan

Operations Business Plan

An operations business plan is an internal plan that is usually not meant for investors or clients, but for the owner and employees only.

This should detail how the business is meant to run.

It can include upcoming projects, events and milestones for the business.

It can also detail different employees’ responsibilities.

Businesses need a plan for their operations.

Businesses chalk out their operational plans for efficiently managing their operations.

The operational plan sets the parameters for measuring corporate performance.

With this plan, the management clearly elucidates all what the business wishes to accomplish and establishes the time frames for each task.

An operational business plan lucidly explains the management’s vision and mission.

This plan is highly detailed in nature and is prepared only for short ranges of time.

When an operational plan is coherently chalked out, it becomes very easy to understand the aims of the company.

There are a few steps involved in drafting an operational plan.

List your company’s major long-term goals.

Make sure to list only the key aims and objectives of the company.

Different companies have different goals.

One company may want to double its customer base in the next 3 years.

Another company may want to increase its profits.

The third company may want to diversify into a new line of trade.

Whatever is your top management’s vision, list it as clearly as possible.

List all the operations you wish to undertake in the short term to achieve the long-term goals.

If your company wishes to attract more numbers of customers in the long run, explain all the measures you wish to take in the short term.

Prepare a list of the resources that would be needed to accomplish the objectives.

List the money needed and the manpower requirements.

Break your plan into shorter durations.

You should prepare monthly, biweekly and weekly plans.

List the impediments that your company is likely to f ace.

There are obstacles in following your plans completely.

The plans need to be reviewed and monitored constantly.

As and when deviations occur, the management needs to take corrective action immediately.

Appoint employees for the reviewing mechanism.

Sometimes, companies use the services of external consultants for this purpose.

Devise alternative courses of action, if the chalked out plans fail.

Often, it is not possible to execute one plan wholly.

The management needs to be ready with a back-up plan, if any deviations occur.

Such as, the management’s aim may be to produce “x” quantities of a product at “y” costs.

The supplier may increase costs of the raw material, and it may no longer be possible to follow the plan.

The management needs to have an alternative plan in place, if the original one fails.

Document your plans and alternate plans.

These come as ready reference whenever there are doubts and deviations.

The management and the employees know which course of action precedes which and which one succeeds which.

Ask Tim Berry: “What type of business plan do I need?”
Have you had to write a business plan before?

Tell us which business plan you needed to write?

Comment and share with us below.

Here is another good blog to read: The Different Types of Business Plans

Read my latest blog on: How Do You Write a Business Plan?

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About Maria Barina

Maria Barina is a mother and grandmother who worked for the NYC Board of Education as Laboratory Specialist Bio/GS for 26yrs till the age of 56. Her husband, after 37 of marriage, passed away from Lung Cancer. She came to myEmpirePRO to seek guidance on how to get freedom that an online business can provide. Freedom to her is being able to do what she wants, when she wants to and to show others they can do the same to. Since she done that she is able to do this by working anywhere she goes and became a mobile-prenuer

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