This series started with creating a business model. If you missed it you can check it here. After developing the business model, the full business plan can be developed. Your
business plan outlines your idea or available opportunity, providing clarity like why your business will be successful, your market entry approach, and business profits.
Business plans come in different lengths, could be as minimum as 10 pages or as long as 50 pages. However, length does not count in developing a business plan; what is important is the quality of the outlined strategy. The basic need of all businesses is a business plan that the owner/entrepreneur can follow to accomplish long-term business goals. The following components are expected to be in your business plan regardless of its size or nature:
1. Cover page
2. Executive summary
3. Business description
4. Market analysis
5. Marketing plan
6. Operations plan
7. Management team/personnel
8. Intellectual property strategy
9. Cash flow projections
Today we will focus on the first five components of the business plan.
1. Cover Page: This is the first page of the business plan. It should be treated as confidential to limit its exposure to potential competitors. It should include the date, business name, name of owner(s) and contact information.
2. Executive Summary: This part of the business plan should be written last when the entire document is complete. It gives an overview of the important aspects of the business like the product or service description, market size, marketing strategy, projected growth. It should not be more than 2 pages and should include a paragraph on each section of the business plan.
3. Business Description: This is an easily understandable explanation of your business idea. In the process, you should be careful not to disclose any confidential information about your business, for example, your trade secret.
4. Marketing Plan: The marketing plan should be able to provide answers to the following questions:

What products or services are offered?
Who is the target market customer?
What is the edge you have over your competition?
How will your product or service be distributed?
How much is acceptable for your product or service?
How will you promote your product or service?
What is the financial cost required to execute your marketing plan?

Information from the marketing plan is the foundation of your business. It communicates easily your market, publicity, profitability, projected growth and pricing strategy.
5. Market Analysis: It starts with a market summary outlining the business opportunity in order to define the share of the market you believe you can capture. It should include an industry analysis and the current tide of the market; identification of your target audience; your key differentiation; the market segments you plan to reach and your marketing budget.
Business plan development is a gradual process, which a number of entrepreneurs find tasking. It however eliminates the element of the business failure by some percentage. Next time we’ll focus on the other components of your business plan.
Make 2016 your best year yet!
Spread the word… It’s a #Deliberate2016.
Article by:
Osatohanmwen Omwanghe
Director, BICEPS

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