5 tips to writing a great business plan

Every business has goals of who they want to be and where they want to go. But not every business can get there. A great business plan can give you the clarity you need to ensure your business is manageable and able to reach its goals.

What’s a business plan?

A business plan is a formal document that details important aspects of your business like it’s goals, finances, team, and future planning. Whether you gear this document towards investors or as an internal document for your team to be on the same page, it should be referenced and tweaked regularly as you learn and your business grows. 

While there is no set way to write a business plan, with our five tips to writing a great business plan, you can set yourself up for success.

1. Get all the components you need

There are a few components that are usually included in a business plan. When researching and documenting these, it’s best to be honest and objective with yourself. A business plan needs:

  • a company description – Introduce your business, its vision and direction, and identify the purpose of your business plan. If it’s for investors, specify how much you hope to raise. If it’s for your team, outline your goals and the existing processes. You could also provide a quick assessment here of where your business sits in the market. What is the current state of the industry and the future potential? Use evidence and data to back this up.
  • a SWOT analysis – Identify your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Include a detailed and objective analysis of the current and future market and competition.
  • Execution plan – How will you run your business? Explain your structure, operations, development, and management processes. For small businesses, you should include how long it will take to reach profitability. 
  • a marketing plan – What is your brand and how will you use it to attract customers and retain existing ones? Include your marketing assets, the budget and content strategy for engaging audiences across different platforms. 
  • financial projections – Include all the finances involved in running your business so shareholders understand how far you have come and where you can potentially go. Outline how much you will need, where the money will go and how you will pay it back. There are also unanticipated costs that are bound to come up at some point, so it’s good to factor these into your financial plans too.

2. Be clear and concise

With the components outlined above, it’s important to be clear and concise in writing your business plan. This way, it can actually be used by your team or shareholders and not ignored or glazed over. It also shows you know exactly what you’re doing with your business and why you’re passionate about it.

3. Emphasise your point of difference

At every possible opportunity, your business plan should point out what makes your product or service different from the rest. Always show how you are helping your target audience in ways other businesses are not. A business plan is something that should be regularly referred to, so emphasising your point of difference in it will ensure your team and shareholders stay motivated. 

4. Give supporting evidence

Whether it’s with your market analysis, financial projections, or your point of difference, always back it up with concrete evidence.

5. Change it whenever you need to

Your company will constantly evolve as it progresses, so your business plan should evolve as well. Sometimes you’ll see your plans through, other times you’ll have to change strategies as unexpected circumstances come up. What’s important is to always have a documented business plan even if you have to change it regularly. 

Both small and large businesses need strong business plans to identify where they are, where they’re going and how they are going to get there. A good business plan written with these five tips, will help steer your business in the direction you want to go. 

Need help writing a clear and effective business plan? Let Elite Words help you today.

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