Having a business plan is a necessity for any new or existing business. It outlines the goals of the organization, the products or services that will be sold, and the marketing strategy that will be used to achieve the goals. The plan is a formal written document that can be used as a financing proposal. It is important to take the time to write it yourself instead of using a ready-made one. Lenders will not consider a business plan without the necessary financial projections.
A good business plan contains a number of sections, including a description of the company, the product or service being sold, the target market, and the legal, financial, and management structures. A sample plan can be found for free online. However, writing a business plan from scratch can be a daunting task. Many companies fail to include a cash flow forecast, a major component of any plan. The best business plans are ones that are transparent and contain all the pertinent details.
The best business plans also include an explanation of the company’s competitors, a discussion of the industry, and a summary of the product or service being sold. In addition to this, the business plan should be accompanied by a list of licenses, permits, and insurance that the company will need to operate. The most impressive business plans will also contain a section devoted to the company’s patents and trademarks.
A business plan should also enumerate the perks and benefits of running a successful enterprise. This should be obvious, but it is surprising how many companies miss this vital piece of information. Having a clear picture of what your company stands for is essential for both current and prospective employees. A plan should also describe any liabilities that the business owes its customers.
The most obvious component of a well-written business plan is the cash flow forecast. Sadly, many companies complete this section as an afterthought. While a forecast is not the end all be all, it is a crucial element to a good business plan. A solid cash flow forecast will demonstrate that the business is on its way to success. A good business plan will also display how the business is likely to perform over a five year period. Using a forecast in a written business plan will ensure that the business owner is not left scrambling for funds at the drop of a hat.
The most important part of a good business plan is to provide a believable case for why your business should be considered for funding. This is particularly true if you are applying for a loan or a line of credit. If you do not provide this type of information, your lender may decide that your business is a bad bet. This is why it is critical to have a thorough plan in place before you submit your application. A properly crafted business plan is the single most important thing you can do for your business.