A business plan is a written document that describes in detail how a business, usually a new one, is going to achieve its goals. A business plan lays out a written plan from a marketing, financial and operational viewpoint.

A business plan has two primary purposes. First, and foremost, it should be used to help run your company with a more cohesive vision.  It is your roadmap. By truly analysing your plan for marketing, sales, manufacturing, website design, etc., you greatly improve your chances for success.

The second purpose of a business plan tends to be for submission to financial institutions or other lenders as they will not invest in your company unless you can demonstrate that you have a roadmap to success.

A good plan accomplishes three important tasks. First, it aligns the management team toward a common set of goals. Then, once the vision is on paper, it forces the team to take a long, hard look at the feasibility of the business. “A business plan is like a dry run to see if there is a major problem with your business before losing any money,” says Mike McKeever, author of How To Write A Business Plan. Finally, a business plan is a sales document: It aims to attract professional investors who may only have time for a cursory glance at each idea that crosses their desks.

The business plan process is simply the steps you go through and actions you take when producing a business plan. In effect, it describes how you produce your business plan.

The process of producing a business plan forces entrepreneurs to examine areas of their business that typically may not be subject to much scrutiny. For example, entrepreneurs do not tend to routinely produce cash flow forecasts, so the requirement to produce one as part of the business planning process forces them to consider the impact of cash on their business. Always, good writers of business plan are able to communicate and present their ideas well infront of stakeholders and business partners, when compared to average writers.

Start Your Own Business by Writing Business Plan

9 Steps For Writing a Business Plan:

  • Step 1 – Define your vision
  • Step 2 – Set your goals and objectives for the business
  • Step 3 – Define your Unique Selling Proposition
  • Step 4 – Know your market
  • Step 5 – Know your customer
  • Step 6 – Research the demand for your business
  • Step 7 – Set your marketing goals
  • Step 8 – Define your marketing strategy
  • Step 9 – Take Action!

They will need to undertake the following:

  • Decide who is going to write the plan (if not themselves).
  • Gain an understanding of what a business plan contains.
  • Decide how to write their plan (typically using business planning software such as Business Plan Pro).
  • Ensure that they know the content for the various sections of the business plan.
  • Collaborate with partners or with colleagues from various departments (if the plan is for a bigger firm).
  • Make sure the financials are realistic and accurate.
  • Have someone review the plan.
  • Print and bind the plan (if a formal document is needed) and/ or produce a presentation.
  • Submit the plan to the recipient.
  • Update the business plan as new details emerge.

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