The Most Important Elements of a Good Business Plan
A business plan is a roadmap for your company, outlining its goals and strategies. It's essential to have one if you want your business to succeed. These are the key elements of a good business plan, which you should utilize to keep your business moving forward:
This is where you introduce your company and the products or services you sell, as well as the customers you target and how you will reach them. You should also explain what makes you different from other businesses in your industry. If you’re searching for startup funding, this is your “elevator pitch” to investors or lenders, so you should try to make it as compelling as possible.
Product or Service Description
In this section, you describe your product or service in more detail, including how it works and how it will benefit your customers. Be sure to include any relevant details about costs, such as price or delivery charges. It should be clear to an outsider with no prior knowledge what your product or service is, and why they’d like to pay for it. Think of it as your sales pitch - if you were trying to sell someone on your product or service right now, this is what you would say to them.
This is one of the most important sections of your business plan. Here, you explain how you intend to market your product or service to customers, including the tactics you will use to promote it (e.g. advertising, social media). You should start by researching your target customers and their behavior so you have a better understanding of their buying habits. This will help you tailor your marketing strategy accordingly. Your marketing strategy should match your target customer base, i.e. if your target market is 18 to 30-year-olds, a newspaper wouldn’t be the best way to reach your market. Instead, a format such as YouTube or social media ads would likely be more effective.
Here, you analyze the costs associated with running your business to help you decide whether it will be profitable or not. This information will be useful for potential investors or lenders so they can determine whether it's worth investing in your business. This is also a good time to develop your budget, which should clearly outline all your expenses.
This section details how you will run the business on a day-to-day basis. This includes information on staffing, management structure, and resources needed to run the business. You should also discuss any potential obstacles to success and how you will overcome them - such as permits needed to operate.
This is another important section of your plan for those who are just getting started and are in need of some startup funding. In this section, you set out the financing you require to launch and run your business. It should include a breakdown of how much cash you will need and how much you will need to borrow from other sources (e.g. banks or investors). You should also include a list of your key strengths and weaknesses as well as the risks and opportunities facing your business. This will help potential investors gauge whether or not you are a suitable candidate.
A good business plan is the backbone of your business, and as such, you should take the time to carefully consider each part of it. A good business plan can provide your business with valuable guidance for years to come, and prevent plenty of issues before they cause damage. Contact Business and Beyond today to learn more or to schedule your consultation.