A business plan does not only serve as a tool for seeking funds. It also serves as a road map for the business. The reason is that it contains a detailed plan of the business, indicating where the business should be after a while in its operation. As a such, one can always use it as a monitoring tool to see whether everything is going on as planned.
Qualities of a good business plan
- It should be clear. If it is meant to be used as a financing tool, it must be clear enough such that the investors would not need further clarification from you. Your business idea should come out clearly as well as how you plan to bring it to life.
- It should contain measurable goals. Every plan must have set goals. The goals serve to indicate the direction the business is likely to take. Such goals should not be stated arbitrarily. As mentioned earlier, they can form a major role in evaluating the business later on.
- It should be informed by research. Business is not established in a vacuum. There is a likelihood of having existing businesses offering the same service or product. A proper research would bring out the niche as well as the targeted customers and why customers are likely to choose the new product and not the existing one.
- Reasonable projections. Many business proposals are unable to appeal to investors due to high projections which might not be realized in an ideal situation. Inflating expected incomes, for example, might lead to investors turning down your proposal. Furthermore, it would discourage the business owner if the projected income is not realized as expected.
- The plan should be as brief as possible. It should accommodate all relevant information about the business without including any unnecessary information. Investors would usually come across multiple business plans. It would be to the benefit of the writer to ensure they grasp the content within the shortest time possible.
Contents of a Business Plan
- Executive summary
- Background of the owner
- The products or services offered
- The market research
- Marketing strategy
- Business environment
- Costs and pricing
- Financial plan and projections
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