There are many reasons to write a business plan. You may need a plan to borrow money, attract investors, or to validate your ideas. Plus, creating a business plan helps work out operating procedures and can put your business at a strategic advantage over other businesses.
To create your business plan, work on collecting the following information and documentation.
- A Description of Your Business – This is simply what you do, who you do it for, why you do it, how you do it, and when you do it.
- Describe the Problem(s) Your Customer Has That You Solve – Make a list of each problem you solve for your customer. Describe them fully and why they need to be solved. It can help to attach the product to the problem for reference.
- Describe Your Solution – Explain how this solution solves the problem for your ideal customer. Try to write this from their perspective to ensure that you are putting the customer in a central place.
- Describe Your Target Customer – You may need to describe more than one target depending on your products and services, especially if you have different levels of products, depending on their place in the customer buying journey. This is a good place for customer avatars.
- Describe Your Competitive Advantage – This is all about how you are different from the competition. It may be due to price, service, innovation, operation, or something else. Some people also describe this as a unique selling point or unique selling proposition. It’s all about your place in the market and how you can leverage it to your advantage.
- Describe Your Selling Process – Website, storefront, affiliates, distributors or salespeople, door-to-door, or something else? For example, perhaps you’ll set up a squeeze page with a freebie to build your list then nurture your relationship with them in email. Be specific and thorough.
- Describe Your Business Model – This is a list of your revue streams and how you’re going to make money. If you have no revenue stream potential, you have no business. For example, starting a blog is not a business until you monetize it.
- Describe Your Start-Up Costs – What are the funds you need to get started? List each expense and why you need it.
- Describe Your Goals and Benchmarks – If you don’t set deadlines, it won’t happen, so make sure you match a deadline or benchmark to each of the goals you’ve set for your business. For example, “I will get 100 new customers each week by hosting two-hour long webinars each week.”
- Describe Your Business Setup – For example, if you’re a sole proprietor who outsources to contractors, state that; if you are an employer with a management team, state so. If you plan to buy human resources, as time goes forward, mention those benchmarks so you know when this will happen.
- Describe Resources You Have and Need – Make a list of the resources you have available now and how you’ll use them and a list of resources you need to buy, and when you’ll do so based on benchmarks.
As you work on creating your business plan, it can help to understand fully all the information and data that you need to complete a business plan that is useful for you. Use this list of information you need for your business plan to guide you as you create the plan and build your business.
Blog Post Series
Thirty Blog Posts to help you Build a Business you Love!!!
Day 10: Components of a Business Plan
Day 16: Creating Your Executive Summary
Day 17: Can You Describe Your Business?
Day 22: What Do You Sell? Really?