Writing Business Plans
Writing business plans is an essential task that should be at the top of every entrepreneur’s or business owner’s to-do list. While having a written business plan does not guarantee success, not having one is a sure recipe for failure.
Writing business plans is an art that takes time and skill to master.
What is a Business Plan?
A business plan is one of the most important documents in any business, and is possibly the most difficult to do correctly. A business pan is not a single plan. It comprises multiple individual plans all crafted to fit together, designed to achieve a singular purpose. That purpose is to describe your business as comprehensively and factually as possible.
It is a factual written document that broadly describes an organisation on both the executive and operational level. The plan documents your vision for your business, and how you intend to achieve that vision. It contains financial projections of the revenue you expect to generate, together with estimates of what it will cost you to develop and operate the business over the period covered by the plan.
Why do you need a Business Plan?
Having a business plan significantly increases your chance of being successful, and reduces the risk of failure.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail
A business plan doesn’t guarantee success. Not having one will guarantee failure.
A well-written business plan provides investors and lenders with the critical information they need to be able to make the decision of whether to invest in your business in the first place, and secondly, how much money they will be willing to invest.
Regardless of the type of business; bricks-and-mortar, virtual, or combination of both, every business needs a business plan.
Five Reasons why you need a Business Plan
- Starting a new business
- Expanding an existing business
- Buying an existing business
- Selling your business
- A Policy and Operations guide
Starting a New Business
You definitely need a business plan if you are starting a business from scratch. A well-written business plan is absolutely essential for raising finance. The more professionally-written the plan, the greater your chance of success.
Expanding an Existing Business
If you are planning to expand your business, you need a plan to show the financial impact the proposed expansion will have, as well as providing information to potential investors should you need additional capital to finance the expansion.
Buying an Existing Business
Buying an existing business is a risky undertaking. You can reduce that risk by having an experienced business consultant review the business you intend to buy and help you develop a business plan as part of your due diligence assessment. You will then know exactly what you are buying.
Selling Your Business
The only way to unlock the true value of your business is to sell it. You will enhance the value of your business and you will be able to get the best price if you package it for sale. The best way to do this is by having a business plan which clearly describes what you have for sale, together with five years of financial statements, backed by sound financial analysis.
A Policy and Operations Guide
The fifth and last reason to have an up-to-date business plan is to provide a policy and operations guide for management and employees. Employees are more engaged when they understand the purpose of the organisation they work for.
Writing Business Plans – Three Approaches
There are three basic approaches to writing business plans
- Do it yourself
- Get someone else to do it for you
- Partner with an experienced business consultant to help you develop your plan
Do it Yourself
The cheapest option is to write your business plan yourself. The problem is that most people find writing business plans from scratch a difficult and time-consuming task. As a result, most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t plan to the extent they should. Some don’t even know where to start. If you choose to write your own plan, you can save time, effort and money, and reduce your potential risk of forgetting something important by using checklists and templates.
Check out the products I have for writing business plans.
Get someone else to do it for you
Outsourcing the responsibility for developing your business plan to someone else carries the greatest risk. As a result this is not really a viable option. No-one knows your business like you do. If you choose this option you are most likely to end up with a poorly-written generic plan, that is unlikely to achieve your objective.
Partner with an Experienced Business Consultant
Partnering with an experienced business consultant to develop a plan tailored to meet your specific needs, while not being the cheapest option, is the best. This option has the greatest chance of success, because a professionally written business plan sends an important message to investors.
What I can do for You
As a consultant and technical writer with over forty-five years experience in business, I can help you develop a professional business plan.
Read: My industry experience
I can also assist you to align your business plan to your organisation’s purpose, vision and mission.
Geography is no barrier
Regardless of where in the world you may be located, and regardless of what your specific needs may be, or the industry you wish to operate in, I can help.
What You Will Get
You will get a fully customised professionally-written business plan with supporting financial projections and financial analysis where necessary.
The Business Plan will be presented in a fully-editable MS Word document format, together with a PDF file.
The level of detail in the plan depends on your specific requirements, and the degree of financial risk associated with the project.
The contents of the plan may vary depending on the nature of your business. For example, Retail, Manufacturing, Service, Hospitality, Food Service, or Virtual on-line businesses are all different. The content of the plan is tailored for the type of business and the industry. It is also tailored for the purpose the plan is to serve.
A typical business plan normally includes the following:
- Executive Summary
- Purpose of the Plan
- Financial Needs or Investment Required
- Description of the Business
- Business Model
- Industry Analysis (including: industry competitiveness, SWOT analysis, PESTEL analysis, industry growth analysis)
- Competition and Competitive Analysis
- Marketing plan
- Sales and Distribution plan
- Operations plan (may include manufacturing plan, production plan)
- Management plan
- Personnel and Staffing requirements plan
- Risk assessment and Mitigation plan
- Project plan complete with milestones and schedule
- Financial forecast and analysis (five years)
- Personal Balance Sheet
- Source and Application of Funding analysis
- Capital equipment purchases
- Balance Sheet (1st year monthly, and 5-year projection)
- Income Statement (1st year monthly, and 5-year projection)
- Cash flow forecast (1st year monthly, and 5-year projection)
- Breakeven Analysis
- Financial Ratio Analysis (as required)
I guarantee confidentiality, and offer a 30-day free amendment period for minor to moderate changes to the content of the final version of the business plan.
Call To Action
If you need a professionally-written business plan, contact me today to see how we can work together.
Email me: email@example.com or click on contact me and send me a message.