Last week, we discussed tips of a catchy business plan and also the ‘do not’ of a sound business plan. Now that we have a full grasp of the tips to make a business plan scale through, it is time to understand the patterns in which the document has to follow.
Business plan templates are planning tools for start-ups and budding entrepreneurs. Without a proper lay down pattern, the document might be thrown into the trash can which might mark the end of that beautiful business idea. So, here are the proper business plan templates to follow to the latter.
This is obviously the first page that would be seen, it entails the plan name, company name, address, phone numbers and email address. Ensure the details on this page are input correctly and with proper theme font and font size. Do not make it too busy; keep it formal and no unnecessary design.
This is not totally compulsory for all business plans, however, it is necessary. Write a legal page for confidential agreement. This page contains the guide for the reader or investors on how to keep the content of the document confidential. Ensure concerned parties sign the page. I am sure, you want to protect that wonderful business idea from predators.
This is a table properly labelled, showing the contents of the document. Outline the chapters, the subtopics and referencing the exact pages where the chapters are in the document.
This is a page that more resource is needed. It summarises the key components of our business plan, description of the company, who the company is and the location of the company. This is just like an abstract page in your project work, it comes first in the document but it is written last. It is like an extract of all other sections.
On this page, summarise your start-up requirements, expenditures and assets required on the commencement of the business. This can be incorporated into a table format to explicitly show the start-up requirements. Of course, you should not be surprised when the balance sheet reads loss because no profit yet, the business is just starting. In a situation where you seek to expand an existing business, your balance sheet might still read loss. The table should include expenses for starting the business or expanding and also the assets need to start/expand as he case maybe.
This is where your business idea is discussed fully. This segment includes detailed description of the product and/or services being delivered. In this segment explain the benefits of the products and/or services to the consumers convincingly. Go into details on how the products and/or services are produced and tell about the future plan for the product and/or services.
This segment is the summary of the market survey you must have carried out. In this segment, describe the various groups of target customers for your product and/or services. Explain in details what qualifies the mentioned target customers to fall into the market analysis. After which you can go ahead to state the nature of the product and/or services in line with the chosen target customers. Identify the location of the target customers and how to get to them. You must carry out a deep research on the product in the market before you can successfully complete this segment. Check the buying pattern of that product and/or service in the market and state the growth pattern you expect your product to follow in years to come.
In this segment describe and summarise the corporate strategy for target marketing sales and marketing activities and how to develop the product and/or service. Look for a grand style strategic that is very convincing to show how you plan to take over the market with our business idea, however, maintain a consistent sales and marketing strategy; you do not want to be an ‘Oliver twist’.
This is the real deal in the document; it is very essential and difficult. It is a forecast into the unit of sales, the rate of sales and also the prices. This also requires in-depth research and strong assumptions to create the sales forecast of any desired number of years (which should be a short term plan). The factors to be concerned are: the market size of the product, the market share, the competition in the market and many others that can pose a great threat to sales.
This will describe the management team and structure for the business. This includes positions and job description and position that need to be filled.
This is the financial aspect of the document, to be on the safer side if you cannot effectively carry out this segment, it is better to give this aspect to a financial analyst. This segment includes: funding source, financial projection.
This explains how the business would be funded and sourced (equity, loans, investment).
The above segments should be careful included in the business plan. Remember the don’ts of a business plan; keep it formal and do not try your comedian talents in the document. It is for business, make it so.