A business plan decides the destiny of a particular business. It is imperative for a business plan to be efficient. A business plan template makes it easier to formulate a plan. Every move the company makes depends on the plan chalked out in the business plan. For a business to take off, the business plan needs to be well-planned, efficient and made in accordance with the aims and objectives, and the short-term and long-term goals of the company. There are usually two types of business plans: the traditional type and the lean start-up plan.
What is a business plan?
The traditional business plan is an elaborately worked-out plan, considering even the minutest of details. It contains pages of research and unstructured data, all compiled into structured information which can change the game for the company if executed correctly. It takes a long time for any company to come up with the traditional business plan even if they are clearly aware of their goals and objectives. A lean start-up plan, on the other hand, is usually a one-page long plan, in the form of a flowchart, or just a couple of instructions to give a head start to the workings of the company.
Business plan templates
Mostly, free business plan templates are easily available on the internet. Any company that wishes to launch itself can look up the various business plan templates available and make the necessary changes according to their needs and requirements. The company needs to be aware of their wants and wishes out of the business.
The business plan should ideally be able to put social media into use. The various trends already existing on social media give the business an upward push and make it visible on various platforms, easily available to potential consumers. Numerous campaigns are being made on the internet in an attempt to make their businesses known to the wide spectrum of people using the web. Companies, which are able to create their own unique campaigns and trends become the trendsetters. Their chances of establishing their business become surer. The business plans need to be made in accordance with an aim to provide goods and services to as many people as possible. Thus, the company should be able to mold its services to suit both the local and international markets. Mostly, a company plays on the belief- system of the potential consumers and tries to gain their trust.
Steps to creating a business plan
The company can either put all their heads together or chalk out their goals and objectives to come up with a business plan on their own or can ask an expert in the respective fields to assist them. In order to be able to do either of these, the company heads must have a clear understanding of where they wish to see themselves in the near future as well as in the next 10 years. Having clarity regarding the kind of goods and services they wish to offer, the kind of customers they wish to attract, and the kind of market they wish to launch themselves into, become the most crucial questions while creating a business plan. Even if an expert is hired, without the knowledge of the company’s goals and aims, he will be rendered incapable of creating a business plan.
The expert will either come up with a unique business plan template or make use of the free business plan templates available in abundance in the market. Usually, for a startup launch, the business plans need not be elaborate, only the basic goals and methods are mentioned. This has its own advantages. They are very easily readable and comprehendible. Only a cursory glance at the business plan will be enough for the investors to understand the vision of the company. Thus, making a decision on the basis of such a business plan will not be an ordeal for the investors and will not consume much of their time. That would be an appreciable gesture on the company’s part.
Steps to writing a business plan
To write a business plan, the basic steps must be followed.
- The business plan must contain an Executive Summary. Mention the company’s goals and visions in this part. All the basic information regarding the company, such as the details regarding the location of the company, the people comprising the leading team, and the financial requirements of the company will be given under this section.
- Usually, for a start-up, the business plan lasts for a single page. In that case, it is imperative to put the executive summary in the form of subheadings.
- The subheadings must contain the business opportunity, the list of employees, and the report of their market analysis. Additionally, include their target market, the financial requirements, their strategies to reach the audience, the line of services they attempt to offer, and the likes.
- All the above details must be mentioned in the business plan in a neatly structured coherent manner. It should not look cramped with too many difficult words. Hence, it should be as comprehensive as possible.
- The writing of the business plan could be made easiest with the use of pre-existing templates. There are free business plan templates available even for the most successful businesses. A startup can always look up to those for guidance without appropriating the contents.
What to do after creating a business plan?
Having made a business plan, the first step is to treat it as a bible. It is the guidebook of the company for as long as they run. There is always space for amendments as the company progresses and its outlook changes. They develop newer ways to offer their services. However, the crux remains the same. The goals and objectives do not change. The company may expand and wish to explore other lines of services in addition to the pre-existing ones. But the mainline of business runs according to the business plan. Consistency and perseverance are the keys to making a startup into a full-fledged company. If the ideas of the company fluctuate, the faith of the investors and the target customers in the company is sure to dwindle.
Having a full-proof business plan is not enough, the company should be able to abide by it. Only if the investors see the goals mentioned in the business plan being reflected in the work and course of action of the company, will they be interested in funding the company’s vision. However, a business plan is the first step in making an impression in the market. Otherwise, the company faces a setback even before its launch.