While you may already have your small business up and running, you may be feeling that this may be a good time to create a business plan.
Either because you are looking to attract business capital or simply to ensure that everyone know's where they are standing, a business plan is a valuable tool. In case you are about to start a new business, one of the first steps to start a small business is to create your business plan.
Before you even start writing your business plan, there are some steps that you need to accomplish first. After all, they will be important when you are actually putting it all into the paper.
The first thing you need to do is to decide what kind of business plan you are going to create. While they all tend to include the structure and purpose of your business, a marketplace analysis, cash flow projections, among others, business plans can be quite different depending on what you are looking for.
You can choose to create just a mini-plan that usually has 10 pages at most and stands as a base or ground for a major plan. Or you can decide to create a presentation plan when you want to attract investors to your business.
#2: The Rules
When you want to create a good business plan for your small business, it's a good idea to follow these 3 rules:
- Keep your business plan short and concise. The main purpose of a business plan is to be read and followed. So, if you just keep writing and writing and end up with a more than 50 pages document, you can be sure that no one will read it.
In addition, a business plan needs to be modified from time to time. After all, your ideas change, the market environment is different. So, since it should include all these changes, it's far easier to include them in a short document than on a longer one.
- Know your audience. One of the main aspects that you need to consider when you are creating your business plan is your audience. The people that you are writing the business plan to. One of the best things that you can do is to be as direct and simple as you can be with your writing. In case you believe that you need to be more specific about some aspects, just include them in the appendix.
- Don't be intimidated. The truth is that most small business owners think that writing a business plan is overwhelming. However, it isn't. When you know your business inside out, you won't have any problems creating it. Besides, in case you just don't like writing, you can always hire the best business plan writers to help you with that part.
#3: What to Include
No matter the type of business plan that you decide to create (a smaller one or a larger and improved one to attract potential investors to your business), it should include 6 different sections:
- The Executive Summary, where you provide an overview of your plans and business.
- The Opportunity, where you describe what you are selling and what is the demand for it. In addition, it's always a good idea to include competition.
- The Execution, that should cover your sales and marketing plans, your operations, as well as how you will track your results.
- The Team and Company, where you should include details about your team as well as a brief overview of your location and legal structure.
- The Financial Plan, which should cover many different aspects starting with the cash flow.
- The Appendix, that you can use to be more descriptive about some specifics about your business or products./how-to-create-a-business-plan-for-your-small-business/Small Business