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Writing a Business Plan

By Charlotte

A Business Plan is a written document describing your business future. It is a road map to your destination. It tells what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. It spells out the different strategies you will use to reach your goals.

You start with certain resources, and you want to achieve your goals in the near future some 3 to 5 years. By the estimated period your business will have a different set of improved assets, resources and profitability. The plan should serve as a guide throughout the business lifecycle.

Based on our experience, some specific do’s and don’ts have been spelt out for you to consider

 

  • Do share your plan ShareS[don’t keep it to yourself]

If your company is to succeed, all employees should understand the business plan dynamics. Let it be shared and make sure you discuss the plan regularly. Furthermore, it should be modified as the business grows.

  • Do Follow an outline

An elaborate document is not needed. However it must make sense to all. Start with the executive summary of the business. It consists of a detailed description of the business, its products or services and plans how the business intends to achieve its goals. It also shows an overview of the industry and how the business will distinguish itself in the face of potential competitors. Then list your strengths and weaknesses as well as growth opportunities.

  • Do Research

Researching the current trends in the industry is invaluable. Do your own researches and also consult published research results in the outlook of the sector in years to come. If the outlook is positive then proceed to write down how much funding you need.

  • Place some reasonable limits on long-term projections. Stick with short-term objectives and modify the plan as the business expands. Too often long-term planning becomes meaningless because the initial idea of your business may be well different from the current reality.
  • Avoid optimism. In fact putting aside optimism would be very conservative in predicting capital requirements, timelines, sales and profits. Few business plans correctly anticipate how much capital and time will be required.
  • Avoid languages and explanations that are difficult to understand

What to do to Obtain a workable Business Plan

To start a business plan is not always easy. In reality many start-up entrepreneurs grapple with this crucial issue and often postpone the idea of when to write one. To make it easy these are some points to consider when writing your plan.

1. Set time to write your business plan

2. Refine your concept based on the information you have collected

3. Gather all relevant data you can on the feasibility and the specifics of your business.

4. Out-line the philosophy of your business answering the ‘what, where, why and how questions

5. Include your own details such as experience, education and personal information

6. Use simple language and realistic projections.

7. You may include bar charts, pie charts and graphs to illustrate your data.

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