Do you need to draw a business plan before starting a business?

If you research this matter online, you’ll establish that while it’s smart to have a business plan, not all entrepreneurs started their successful companies with a business plan.

Which way should you go? If you asked us, there’s only one answer: you need a business plan. And not just a random business plan for the sake of it. You need a detailed plan.

If you don’t know how to write a new business plan, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re fleshing out some of the vital features of a business plan.

Let’s dive in.

  1. Executive Summary

An executive summary is usually the first thing you’ll come across when you start reading a business plan. However, some plans have it on the last page.

We suggest having it on the first page since it fleshes important details about the company. This is where you place the mission statement along with the vision statement. There should also be a description of the products and services the company offers.

Although that should do it, it’s not uncommon to find information about the owners here. As such, you can use this section to highlight your expertise, including educational qualifications and professional experience.

  1. Market Analysis

You should never start a business without having a proper understanding of the market/industry you’re planning to enter. This is why every business plan should have a section dedicated to market analysis.

Identify the state of competition in the market and what some of the top competitors are doing to stand out. You should also mention what your company will do differently.

This is where you identify your target market. What’s its size? You should include a profile of your ideal target customer, including their age, gender, income, hobbies, marital status, and interests.

  1. Sales and Marketing Strategy

Now that readers of your business plan know your products/services and your target market, they want to know how you will market and sell the products. This necessitates the need for a section dedicated to your sales and marketing strategy.

Describe the various sales methods you’ll use to push the product. Will you hire sales representatives? Will customers shop the products from a third-party ecommerce platform like Amazon? Will you sell direct-to-consumer on your website?

What about your marketing strategy? Will you rely on digital marketing? If yes, layout the various digital marketing techniques you will use, such as social media marketing and pay-per-click advertising.

  1. Financial Projections

The financial projections section outlines how much capital you’ll need to start the business and keep it running. It identifies the various funding sources, be it personal finances, business loans, grants, or equity capital.

You must also include the revenue projections. How much will the business be making in six months, one year, and so forth? When will it break even? When will it be profitable?

A New Business Plan Should Be Detailed

When you’re writing a new business plan, it’s important to know what to include. There are many key sections, but it should never miss an executive summary, market and competitive analysis, sales and marketing strategy, and financial projections.

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