A Simple 7 steps guide for writing a business plan

business plan

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Writing a business plan is sometimes the first step in turning your idea for a business into a reality. Your ideas start to take the form of a strategy as you write, and a course of action starts to become clear. But not only do startups need a business plan; even well-established businesses can benefit from reviewing and updating theirs. Whatever the scenario, the official paperwork can offer the clarity required to inspire employees, attract investors, or guide future decisions.


No of your industry or the size of your team, it might be intimidating to write a business plan because it contains so much information. However, don’t let that deter you—there are simple ways to get started.


What does a business plan entail and why is it important?

A business plan is a formal document that outlines the objectives, course, resources, personnel, and long-term planning of your company. It might be tailored for investors to raise money or used internally to bring teams together and give guidance. It often includes in-depth market research, competitive analysis, financial records, and a summary of your company’s operations and marketing plan. A well-written business plan may guide decision-making and keep entrepreneurs on track to achieving their objectives.


Who requires an enterprise plan?

A business plan can be especially useful during a company’s early development and serves as a compass in the ambiguity, diversions, and occasionally quick changes required in launching a business. A business plan for an enterprise company has to be an active, dynamic document that aids with deliberate expansion.


According to Colin Keogh, CEO of the Rapid Foundation, a business that provides technology and training to underserved communities, and a mentor for business Labs in the UK, “you should have a game plan for every major commitment you’ll have, from early-stage founder agreements to onboarding legal professionals.” “Without a plan, it’s impossible to participate in investment rounds or accelerator programs.”


How to create a business plan and the seven elements it must include

There are a few components that are frequently included in a business plan, even though there is no fixed format for developing one. Here are some things to keep in mind while you write your business strategy.


  1. Executive summary 

The executive summary, which should be no more than half a page long, should succinctly summarise your company and its goals. Are you drafting the plan to raise money? If so, be specific about how much you want to raise and how you plan to pay back the loan.


If you’re drafting a strategy to direct your team and align them, briefly describe your goals for this alignment as well as the size and condition of your current team.


The executive summary should give a brief review of your company’s operations, financial situation, and key accomplishments to date.


  1. Organization description

It’s crucial to define the larger industry in addition to your company to properly promote it. What is the market’s value in terms of money? Exist any market trends that will have an impact on your business’s success? What are the current conditions and prospects for the industry? To give investors and your employees an accurate and comprehensive picture of your company’s environment, use facts to support your assertions and make sure to cover the full spectrum of information—both positive and negative.


Continue by outlining your business’s offerings to clients. Are you a corporation, partnership, LLC, or sole proprietor? Are you a well-established business or a new startup? How many employees do you have and who makes up your leadership team? This part ought to give background information on your company’s past and present, as well as its founding narrative, mission statement, and long-term goals.


It’s crucial to highlight your unique selling proposition in your company description, along with any benefits you could have in terms of qualified staff or cutting-edge technology. Usually, one of the first parts of the plan to be written is this.


  1. Market research and potential

To complete a business plan, research is essential. Ideally, more time should be spent on research and analysis than on drafting the actual plan. For your firm to succeed, it is crucial to understand the market’s size, growth, history, the potential for the future, and existing threats. These factors should be discussed here.


In addition, it’s crucial to include research about your product’s or service’s target market. This could take the shape of fictitious personalities for your clients or a more comprehensive look at their income, geography, age, gender, and purchasing preferences.


The analysis in this portion is a fantastic area to reaffirm your point of differentiation and the ways you intend to seize the market and outperform your competitors, even if the study should be impartial.


  1. Competition research

It’s crucial to offer a thorough study of your competitors in addition to outlining the aspects that set you apart from the competition.


The operations, finances, leadership, history, and distribution networks of your direct and indirect competitors should all be thoroughly investigated. It should examine the value propositions of these rivals and detail how you might compete with them or take advantage of their advantages and disadvantages.


  1. Operations, development, and management execution plans

This section gives specifics on how you’ll carry out the tasks required to carry out this plan. It should contain details on your team’s regular activities, contractors, and physical and digital assets in addition to your organizational structure.


Include the organizational chart for your business as well as more detailed information about the leadership group: They, who? What is their history? What do they add to the conversation? Include the resumes of any important team members.


Your startup’s execution plan should specify how long it will take to launch operations and how much longer it will take to become profitable. It’s a good idea to describe how long it will take to put your plan into action and how you’ll modify current operations for established businesses.


It’s advantageous to highlight your plan for expanding into new markets and adding additional team members, if applicable.


  1. Marketing strategy

As you expand operations or launch a new strategy, it’s crucial to have a thorough marketing plan in place. This plan should be communicated to your stakeholders and staff. This section of your business plan should outline how you intend to market your enterprise, draw in new clients, and keep your current clientele.


Include the timetable and budget for involving customers through various channels, as well as brand messaging and marketing materials. Consider including a marketing SWOT analysis in your list of opportunities, threats, and areas for improvement. Analyze the marketing strategies used by your rivals and how your intended audience reacts to these messages.


  1. Past financial performance and outlook

In your business plan, you must describe every financial aspect of running your enterprise. This is done to ensure that your shareholders are fully aware of both your current status and your expected future performance.


Your income statement, which details yearly net earnings or losses; a cash flow statement, which illustrates how much cash you’ll need to start or expand operations; and a balance sheet, which lists your assets and liabilities, should all be included.


Amit Perry, a corporate finance specialist, explained at a business Labs educational session in Israel that “a balance sheet presents your assets, liabilities, and equity, whereas an income statement presents your financial results for a specific period and the most accurate report of business activities during that time.”


12 short guidelines for creating a business strategy

It’s time to think about how you’ll put the business plan together now that you know what elements are customarily included in one.


Here are 12 important considerations for drafting a business strategy. These guiding principles will assist you in creating a business plan that accomplishes your goals (whatever they may be) and serves as a handy guide moving forward.


  1. Avoid talking in detail

Don’t use jargon and speak in plain, succinct terms. When business plans are overly wordy, stakeholders are more likely to forget about them or lose interest in them, which reduces their likelihood of being used as intended.


  1. Explain your concern.

Show employees and investors your enthusiasm for the company and how it drives you (and why they should too).


  1. Submit supplementary records

Don’t be afraid to include a long list of appendices, such as team members’ resumes, customer personas that have been developed, product examples, and instances of internal or external communications.


  1. Reference information

All market, competition, and customer-related information should make use of reliable, pertinent data points.


  1. Conduct more research.

You should spend more time conducting research for your business plan than actually creating it. Think about keeping a record of your research as proof.


  1. Clearly state how you differ from others.

It’s critical to emphasize how your product or service sets you apart from the competition and helps your target market solve an issue whenever possible. Don’t be afraid to mention these distinctive qualities again and again throughout the strategy.


  1. Conduct unbiased research.

As vital as it is to highlight your business and the advantages you offer your clients, it’s equally crucial to be objective when citing the statistics and research. Showcase both the positive and negative aspects of your market analysis and financials; you want your shareholders to know that you have considered every conceivable possibility.


  1. Recognize the goal of your strategy.

Before you start your study and writing, you must comprehend the goal of your plan. Clearly state whether you are developing this plan to garner funding, organize teams, or offer guidance.


  1. Choose your audience.

You must have a well-defined audience, just as your business plan must have an obvious purpose. Who are you writing this for? new financiers? current staff members? Possibly working together? existing investors?


  1. Avoid jargon

Unless necessary, avoid using industry-specific jargon and attempt to make your business plan simple to understand—for all potential stakeholders.


  1. Change things up without fear

Your business plan should change as your firm grows, and the document containing your business plan should do the same. The most crucial element is having a plan in place, even if it changes, so revisit and adjust it as necessary.


  1. Use it

A business strategy should be used as intended moving forward and not just be a task checked off your to-do list. Keep your company plan handy and consult it frequently as you and your team make decisions going forward.


What makes a business strategy necessary?

A new business’s launch is stressful. Having a plan in place will significantly lessen the impact those difficulties will have on your company. Writing a strong business plan is a crucial step in becoming ready for whatever problems your startup may have.


You can more clearly comprehend what needs to be done to accomplish your goals by writing a business strategy. Your completed company plan will serve as a reminder of these objectives. You can use it as a useful tool to help you keep focused and on course.


What are a company plan’s three key goals?

It’s critical to comprehend why a company plan is being created before you begin to compose one. The following are the top three justifications for creating a business plan:


Decide on a business direction. Establishing your future ambitions is the main goal of a business strategy. These strategies should outline the activities your business will take to accomplish each objective or milestone. You can choose your company’s focus and pursue growth by developing a path to your goals.


Obtain financing. Before investing in your company, banks, private investors, and other lenders often look for a thorough business plan. Investors are interested in how you run your company, your projected revenue and expenses, and, most crucially, how they will make money off of their investment. [View our suggestions for the top business financing programs.


draw in, executives. You’ll probably need to expand your workforce with executives as your company expands. You may find executive talent and assess whether they are a suitable fit for your organization with the use of a business plan.


You can write your business plan as a document or have it created as a slideshow, like a PowerPoint presentation. It might be advantageous to produce both versions. For instance, PowerPoint can be used to entice viewers, and as a follow-up, viewers can be provided the paper version that offers additional detail.


Typical obstacles to creating a business plan

Writing a company strategy presents a variety of obstacles. Do you have all the necessary information about your company? Do you have to follow rigorous rules in your field of work? Ten of the most typical problems you can encounter were identified to aid in your preparation:

  • Getting going
  • Identifying financial and cash flow projections
  • Having a target market in mind
  • Making it entertaining by being succinct
  • establishing realistic objectives
  • Having a realistic view of business expansion
  • demonstrating the viability of your proposition
  • Choosing the appropriate degree of flexibility
  • developing a plan you can put into action


These 9 challenges can help you create a business strategy that will position your company, as well as anyone who joins it, for future success.


How to write a business plan while overcoming obstacles

Even if you won’t be able to forecast everything that may affect your company, you can take preventative measures to lessen the number of potential problems. For instance, learn about the business plan procedure by reading about company plans and figuring out how others have successfully implemented their plans.


These strategies can serve as a starting point, but Rick Cottrell, the CEO, and founder of BizResults.com suggests going even further: Speak with small business owners and other knowledgeable people.


The business owner should speak with an accountant, a banker, and individuals who work with these plans every day to find out how others have handled the situation advised Cottrell. They can interact with colleagues and others who are preparing to begin a business to obtain insights from them. They can also join startup and investment organizations. They can look for capital innovation groups in their region to gain more knowledge.


You may always hire a consultant to assist you with the process if you’ve done your study on how to build a business plan but still don’t feel confident doing it.


The business owner should speak with an accountant, a banker, and individuals who work with these plans every day to find out how others have handled the situation advised Cottrell. They can interact with colleagues and others who are preparing to begin a business to obtain insights from them. They can also join startup and investment organizations. They can look for capital innovation groups in their region to gain more knowledge.


You may always hire a consultant to assist you with the process if you’ve done your study on how to build a business plan but still don’t feel confident doing it.


Cottrell continued, “It is just a tedious process that cannot be expedited. “Millions of dollars are frequently at risk, necessitating a high level of skill that must either be learned or applied in cooperation with an experienced business consultant.”


The writing and reporting for this piece were done in part by Joshua Stowers, Howard Wen, Jennifer Post, Chad Brooks, and Sean Peek. For an earlier version of this article and linked articles, source interviews were done.



Writing a strong business plan can be a vital indicator of future success, whether you’re just starting or managing an established firm. It might serve as your starting point for success and growth. It can act as a regular reminder to staff members and clients of your values and the course you’re taking. Or, it might demonstrate to potential investors the value of your company, staff, and vision.

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