Writing a Business Plan

Before writing a business plan, you should first understand what it is comprised of. Once that is understood, it is fairly easy to formulate a business plan suited to your needs. Although there may be some differences depending upon the nature of each business, there are many factors that are common to all business plans, for which information needs to be given in the plan.

What a Business Plan Should Include

Critical information that should be in a business plan includes the type of business it is, the products for sale or the services offered, the proposed or actual location of the business and how it is to be run (whether self run or some person will be hired to run it). The manpower to be hired for the efficient running of the business and the costs involved, ways of generating income with marketing and advertising strategies, identifying target customers and market competition should also be included. A short elaboration on these points is given below.

Business Profile

A very important component of a business plan is a detailed description of the business that you intend to start. Whether it is a retail store or an online store, you need to include extensive details about the business. This also includes everything about the product and services that your business will be selling or offering.

Business Location

The plan should include the location of the business, or at least a preferred one. If it is an Internet business, the proposed domain name for your online website has to be included. Whether you intend to establish an email marketing business, or plan to run a storefront business, your focus should be on the premises that are available either on lease, rent or outright sale. If not, you can give the details of any building that you would prefer to lease or buy for your business.

Running the Business

You must mention how you intend to run the business (i.e., whether you will be involved personally in the day to day running, or hire someone to handle it for you). Since manpower is one of the most important aspects of any business, a detailed account of the numbers required and the costs that will be incurred has to be mentioned in the plan.

Income Generation

Since one of the most important raisons d’etre for starting any business is to earn income, it is important to include projections of how much income the business will generate, and the plans that will be utilized to achieve it. This includes the marketing and advertising strategies that will be employed to reach the target customer base. Since these are the people who will be the potential customers for the products or services of your business, a profile of your target customer and associated demographics should also be included in the business plan.

Market Competition

It is important to mention the competition that exists in the market. If you intend to use the plan to raise finances for your business, lenders want to be sure that you have plans to overcome any negative factors posed by the competition, and make your business financially viable.

To be thorough, you can also add information about your security plans, business insurance and financial requirements. These aspects cover nearly every important aspect of writing a good business plan.

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