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Atanu Sarkar
March 28, 2016

Table of content

Starting a business does need a lot of plans on behalf of a business owner. One should have a business plan, regardless of whether you are bootstrapping or looking for outside funding.

The best sort of business plans usually gives a clear idea about what the company desires to achieve and how will they do it. To be honest, the rate of failure of the businesses in the initial years is much higher, than the rate of success, which can be put forward as exceptional examples. The major cause of the failure in most of the cases has been the callousness of the business owners towards having an ideal business plan.

It is through the help of an ideal business plan is a great way to test the extent of the business and spot the flaws and loopholes, along with setting aside the unrealistic projects and impractical objectives.

Remember, a business plan does not have to be complicated but it should serve the purpose, play a crucial role in helping the company to achieve the much-needed success and being clear and easily understandable to everybody who reads the plan.

The Concerned Tips

There is certainly no single correct way about how to write a business plan. The approach can depend on the industry along with the idea of the person who is preparing it, and what the plan is intended for. In true sense, a business plan does serve a lot of purposes. Thus, it is essential to be extremely cautious and careful while preparing the same. Here are few tips which one can keep in mind while formulating a business plan for an enterprise belonging to any vertical of the market.

  • Be Practical About Financial Estimates As Well As Projections-Be aware of the financial estimates as well as projections. Make sure that a proper and realistic approach is presented to all your employees. Working towards achieving practical and realistic goals always encourages the employees rather than the hyper-realistic and huge goals. Try projecting the better prospects rather than projecting profits. Never be excited about some huge things which are never going to happen.
  • There Should Be Specific Versions Targeted To Specific Audiences-The most common mistakes of inexperienced business owners are that they lack the understanding of the target audience for whom they are formulating the plan. Each and every targeted audience does have different purposes so the version and approach for each and every audience should definitely vary accordingly.
  • Your Business Plan Should Be Living Document-Each and every business plan should be constantly changing as the needs and requirements of the sales in the company and according to the change of the market. A proper business plan should require frequent review as well as close observation by the management team. It should be updated every month in order to review the plan in accordance to the changing landscape.
  • Write Down Your Business Plan And Have Blueprint-Formulating a business plan is all about writing down the process as well as having a blueprint. A proper business plan reflects the ideas, intuitions, instincts as well as insights about the businesses and the future. To be honest, a proper business plan serves a safer way about how to test these before committing to a course of action.
  • Back Up Any Sort Of Claims-Follow the projections as well as assertions with the statistics, facts or quotes right from a source which has the knowledge to give your plan credibility. You must always have a reliable source ready for backing up the claims that you are making in your plans.
  • Presentation Does Count-Reading a lengthy as well as text-heavy document is certainly hard-on eyes. Try formatting the text pages into two columns as well as break long passages with graphs or charts. Some of the standard industry fonts to be used are Arial, Verdana or Times New Roman. Without a proper format in mind, your plan will be a mere lengthy document and will also not encourage anybody to work on it. Making its presentation soothing for eyes and easy for the mind is what promises to give you an edge over others.

Writing a proper business plan is certainly not an obligation but it is vital in knowing the process of starting a business with the information one needs to know. So, put the correct information properly into the business plan.

What Is There In A Proper Professional Business Plan?

A typical business plan usually consists of 15 to 25 pages. The length depends on various factors like whether the business is introducing a new product or belongs to a new industry or is pitching to the bankers, who usually expect a traditional written business plan. Although, the business personnel designs the draft of their business plan on their own, but they tend to hire the professional content writing services in order to ensure a marvelous plan is prepared. The expert service makes the plan free from all kind of grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and also explains the industry jargon, making the plan presentable and easy-to-understand for every individual associated with the sector.

Here are the seven sections which must be there in every business plan:

  1. Executive Summary: It comes next to the title page and must explain the fundamentals of the business in a clear tone. It should contain a short and clear synopsis of the business plan which will describe the business concept, the financial features, and requirements as well as the company’s current market position and major achievements, which are relevant to the success like patents, prototypes or results from test marketing and the likes.
  1. Business Description: This section includes a brief description of the industry as well as its outlook. The various verticals of the market should be observed and taken into the notice, in order to provide details in this section. If the business requires funding for expansion of future prospects, then mention it in the description and reinforce your data with reliable sources and add footnote whenever possible. In this section, you must also provide descriptions of the business operation structure, who to sell, how to distribute the products/services along with the business’s legal structure with principles and what they bring to the organization.
  1. Market Strategies: In this section, you should define the target market and the current scenario of the market. Proper market analysis requires both research and familiarity with the market. The target market needs to be defined and estimation should be provided about where the company is positioned in the current market. The strategies can be structured when one think of the market in terms of its size, structure as well as growth prospects and trends.
  1. Competitive Analysis: The purpose of the competitive analysis is to determine the strategies as well as the weaknesses of the competitors, within the market. This section provides a distinct advantage to the business and makes them aware of the barriers that lie ahead.  It prevents going through a negative phase and helps a business to learn from the mistakes made by its competitors.
  1. Design And Development Plan: This section is only needed if one have a product in development such as an app. The purpose of the section is to give investors descriptions of the design of the product, chart development with a context of production and marketing, showing a development budget.
  1. Management and Operations Plan: In this section, the business functions right on daily basis, location, equipment, processes, people and surrounding environment are mentioned in detail. If there is a product which needs to be manufactured then it needs to explain. How and where the product will be manufactured along with what kind of work facility, the personnel, and legal environment, key suppliers and inventory- everything should be mentioned in thorough details. This section will surely highlight the logistics of the organization like various responsibilities of the management teams as well as the tasks assigned to each division within the company.
  1. Financial Factors: At the back of the business plan, there is the financial data which is extremely important. A proper financial data should include the personal financial statement, startup expenses, and capital as well as the projected cash flow declaration, along with the 12-month profit and loss statement.

The best way to prepare for a plan is to keep the entire, above-mentioned necessary element in the business plan, executing it in the right way possible.

Different Types Of Business Plans

In general, business plans is divided into four categories. These four categories are:

  • Working Plan: As suggested by the name itself, this plan is what the business is all about and what is needed to it, to be admired. This version of the plan is an internal document which will be long and detailed.
  • Mini Plan: In most cases, readers fail to read big versions of the plans and so they may request a mini plan which is a condensed version of a business plan. It includes at least some of the components of the longer traditional plan apart from the details and explanation. There is certainly the business concept, marketing plans, financial statements and balance sheet. This shorter plan is meant to be a substitute for a full-length plan.
  • Presentation Plan: The presentation plan will surely be more or less like your written business plan but it should be worded differently for the eyes of the outsider. Always remember that the readers of the presentation plan are someone who is not aware of your business such as an investor or venture capitalist. This is the reason you should not keep any shortcut from your working plan. Moreover, there should also be competition threats and risks as well as various financial projections. In addition, looks do count – so use the color printer, nice cover, and bindings and fancy paper stock.
  • The What If Plan: This is a contingency plan which happens in a case of market share less, heavy price competition or defection of a key member of the team. These include some things to consider when you are getting some outside funding. You should be thinking about what ifs in these cases.

All of these discussions may make you think that this is a mountain of work but it’s certainly not. All you need to do is to begin in the right way, keeping the set of guidelines in mind for formulating a business plan much required by the company.

Atanu Sarkar

Atanu Sarkar, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Webskitters Technology Solutions Pvt. Ltd & Webskitters LTD has strong data analytics, business development and entrepreneurship skills. He keeps himself updated about latest technological innovations in his past time and encourages his team to incorporate new technologies and move beyond the defined boundaries of design, development and digital marketing. His inquisitive nature constrains him from flattering any limits and that’s made him a successful entrepreneur, a great leader for his team and a wonderful human being.