Updated: Nov 17, 2021
Seven Steps To Success
Creating a stellar business plan not only gets you thinking about your business and what you are going to offer the local market, it also gets your mind working towards how you can grow your enterprise as time goes on. Good business plans work great as a checklist of sorts for potential investors that shows you are on the right track.
From a financial standpoint the business plan is a blueprint for your business that is used to lure in funding from banks and other third-party investors. It’s a sale pitch of sorts to get the required funding to get your business off the ground and running smoothly.
There are many types of business plan, but they can generally be categorised into the following:
Traditional Business Plans
Comprehensive and thorough, a traditional business plan can be tens of pages long and offers a deep dive into the who what and whys of your business. It includes in depth plans for start-up and growth. Product offerings and business structure.
Lean Start-up Plans
Lean start-up plans are usually one page long and leave a lot of wiggle room for the company. A thumbnail sketch of sorts that shows the general ideas of your business without going too far into detail about the enterprise.
Traditional business plans are recommended because they can show how ready you are to take the next leap with your business. But if you are passionate and have a really good idea, a lean start-up plan can be used to gain initial funding which can later be supplemented with a traditional business plan.
Here Is Our 7 Step Business Plan Guide
Stick to these steps to create your own stellar business plan.
Step 1: Executive Summary
The quick overview and outline of the key points of your business. The idea with this section is to briefly overview the plans and goals of the company, what is does and why it will be a winner. Include a mission statement or company quote to really get the idea of your business across to investors. Don’t go too crazy with this though, keep the summary short and sweet.
Step 2: Business Description
This is going more into depth of what your business will do for the marketplace. Talk about what solutions you are going to bring to the table. Inform investors about the history if the business and mention any world class talent you have on your team. Feel free to clearly explain the workings of your product or service and why you are the best in the sector.
Step 3: Market Analysis
This is the section you really want to show off your research and knowledge. What market are you entering, what are the opportunities and how do you stand out from the competition. Talk about the leading product in your niche and show how yours will be better and brighter. Investors work with many companies so will be very impressed if you can explain your unique approach to the product, you offer and how it relates to the competition.
Step 4: Company Organisation
How is your company going to operate? Is it an LTD or Corporation? Who are the main decision makers and how is the company stock split? Does the company have an accountant? Detail the management hierarchy. Nothing too fancy here just get straight to the point, clear and understandable.
Step 5: Products or services provided
What does your company offer and what are the benefits and features that your customers will find value in? Talk about how much research you have done, the thought process behind the product design, your social media plan. The aim with this section is to clearly explain your product or service so really go all in and make sure the investor is 100% certain what your product is, what it does and who it’s for.
Step 6: Financial Outlook
Watch any episode of Dragons Den and you will see entrepreneurs being roasted for not knowing their numbers. This section is your bread and butter, the bottom line itself. Talk about your profit margins, overheads and forecasts. You really do need to know these numbers by heart so study them closely. Include quarterly reports and tax breakdowns. Ask an accountant for help if you are not a numbers person, this is a fundamental part of a business plan so should not be taken lightly.
Step 7: Summary
Time to close your business plan with a pitch for funding, list all the things that you have identified which brings power to your idea. Charts, sales, customers, unique product. Wrap it all up here in a powerful punching final statement that summarises your business plan and shows investors what they can expect from working with you. Know how much money you need and why, investors like clarity and knowledge so you will score big points for getting this right.
Time to get to work on your business plan! As accountants we are happy to help if you need it. Just get in touch if you need help with your business plan.