Now that we covered the basics of marketing, I think you are well-equipped to apply your knowledge of marketing concepts in writing a business plan. I acknowledge that a sophisticated business plan would require some understanding of marketing, strategy, and finance. I haven’t yet written about strategy and finance, but I will include pieces of my knowledge that would be helpful as we go through the business plan. Remember, there are also many online tools you can use to learn about strategy and, especially, finance.
Why Write a Business Plan?
Whether you want to start a new business, a new project, a new product, or enter a new market, you should do a business plan for the change you are making to your business’ activities. Writing a business plan increases your chances of success in the following ways:
- It guides you in determining the future path of a business. It is like an action plan
- Allows you to consider opportunities and challenges you would otherwise miss
- Helps calculate and minimize risks in your decisions
- Is often required by and important for potential lenders
Components of a Business Plan
A comprehensive, high-quality business plan would require the following components:
- executive summary: your 1-page business pitch that you will write last, but will place first in your report!
- company profile: background, founders, values, and business summary
- strategic objectives: vision, mission, goals and objectives
- strategic (a.k.a. situational) analysis: research and analyze your customer, industry, market, and your own company today to build a sustainable competitive advantage in the future
- marketing strategy: the five P’s of marketing (product, people, promotion, place, price) in effect
- Financial projections: short-term and long-term revenues and costs with the aim of long-term sustainability
- implementation plan: the operational steps needed to start a business and keep it running
- evaluation and assessment based on control metrics
- appendix: internal and external resources that serve as evidence to support the information contained in your business plan
Over the next week or so, I will post a new article dedicated to each component of the business plan – except for executive summary and appendix – on a daily basis. Please subscribe to my blog’s feed if you want to keep up-to-date with these posts. Hope you all produce excellent business plans using the resources I am providing for you.