Writing up a business plan is important if you want to run a successful business, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t want that? It should be used consistently as a tool to help build your business, not simply another homework assignment that needs to be taken care of as quickly as possible. A good business plan is something that you will be able to refer to on a regular basis, and something that you can update as you learn more about your customer base, sales, and marketing techniques- successful and not so successful. Here are the components of a solid business plan.
1. An Executive Summary
An executive summary is usually written last; however, it is the first chapter of your business plan. It introduces your company, explains what you are planning to do, and describes what kind of relationship you are looking to forge with your readers.
The “Opportunity” section of your business plan is where the bulk of your actual plan is contained. You insert here what problem you are aiming to solve, your solution to the problem, your target market, and how your product fits into the competitive market.
3. The Problem and Solution
This is where you define the problem and solution for your customer base. If you are having a hard time pinpointing the problem your customer base is facing you may not have a solid concept for your business.
4. Target Market
The Problem and Solution portion of your business plan will show you who your target audience is. From there you can further assess that audience. How many people are there? What other companies could you potentially sell your product to?
Describe your competition and the advantages your business has over them. What makes you special? What advancements have you made that set you apart from the crowd?
6. Future products/service
What is the future of your company? Provide your vision in this section. You don’t have to spend too much time in this section even though it can be a lot of fun daydreaming about the future.
7. Mission Statement
Spend an hour or two on your mission statement. It should be short but impactful. It should encompass in as few words as possible what exactly it is that your business has been created to do.
Incorporate these sections into your business plan and update them regularly to stay on track!