May 22, 2024

The Surprisingly Simple Guide To Writing A Business Plan

6 min read
The Surprisingly Simple Guide To Writing A Business Plan

Introduction

It’s not as hard as you might think to write a business plan. In fact, most of the time is spent on research rather than writing. So if you’re ready to start your business, consider this definitive guide from someone who’s written quite a few plans over the years:

Define your business goals in a single sentence.

In the first step of your plan, you need to define your goals. You should be able to write them down in one sentence. If you can’t do this, then it’s likely that your business idea isn’t as well-thought-out as it could be.

When writing out your goal statement, don’t worry about what other people may think is an important goal for your business or fitness routine–just focus on what YOU want out of it! And remember: Be ambitious but realistic–you can always adjust later if necessary! For example: “I want to lose 20 pounds by June 1st so I can look good at my friend’s wedding next weekend.” Or maybe something more specific like “I’m going on vacation with my family in July and want to work out three times per week before then so I’ll have time afterwards without feeling sore.”

Write down your business plan’s purpose.

Your business plan is a road map for your business. It provides a vision of where you want to go and helps you stay focused on the goals that are most important to your organization. A good business plan also helps set priorities by identifying what needs to be done first, second, third…and so on.

Set up your business plan outline.

The first step to writing a business plan is to set up your outline. The outline is a list of the topics you will cover in your plan, and it’s basically like a road map for your business plan. It helps keep you on track while writing, as well as helping keep things organized later on when it comes time for revisions.

You can use whatever method works best for you: pen and paper? Word processor? Google Docs? I personally like using Scrivener because it makes it easy to move things around as needed (and also keeps me from getting distracted by other open windows). Whatever tool(s) work best for you!

Identify and describe your target market.

The next step in your business plan is to identify and describe your target market. This is one of the most important parts of any business plan because it defines who you’re going to sell to, how much they’ll pay for what you offer, and whether or not there’s enough demand for what you’re selling (i.e., are there enough people out there willing to buy?).

The first thing we need to do is define our target market by age group (18-34 years old), gender (male/female), location (urban vs rural areas), profession (doctors/lawyers vs construction workers) income level ($100k+ earners vs $40k-$50k earners), interests/hobbies that might influence their purchasing decisions such as sports teams or musical instruments played on stage at concerts held annually by local musicians etc.. We can also describe additional characteristics such as race/ethnicity if applicable but don’t worry about this one since most companies only focus on white consumers when thinking 

about how best serve them with new products from existing brands within their portfolio already established over time through advertising campaigns aimed specifically at those types alone.”

Identify and describe your competition.

The next step is to identify and describe your competition. This is a crucial part of any business plan, as it will help you figure out how to differentiate yourself from the other players in your market.

In order to create this section, you’ll need:

  • A list of all the companies that compete with yours (this should be pretty easy if you’re starting a restaurant or coffee shop)
  • A list of strengths and weaknesses for each competitor (again, easy enough if there are just two or three competitors)

Create a SWOT analysis for your business plan.

Before you can write a business plan, you have to do some research. The first step is defining the problem that you’re trying to solve. A SWOT analysis is an easy way of doing this by breaking down your company’s strengths, weaknesses and opportunities into four categories:

  • Strengths: What makes your company great? Are there any resources or skills it has that other companies don’t?
  • Weaknesses: What could hold back the growth of your business in the future? Is there anything else they should know about before they invest their money with you?
  • Opportunities: What are some ways that this industry could grow over time (and therefore increase demand for what we offer)? How big could these opportunities actually get if we were bold enough as entrepreneurs/business owners/investors/etcetera…
  • Threats: What factors might undermine our ability to meet our goals (for example, if there were another competitor entering into competition with us)?

Describe the value of what you’re offering in one or two sentences (and be specific).

Describe the value of what you’re offering in one or two sentences (and be specific). The value of your product or service is what your customer will get out of it, so the more specific you can be about this, the better. For example: “Our software allows users with limited computer skills to perform their job faster and more efficiently than they could without it.”

Outline how you will deliver that value to customers, along with how they can buy it from you, how much it costs and when payment is due.

The second part of your business plan should explain how you will deliver that value to customers, along with how they can buy it from you, how much it costs and when payment is due. This section should also include information about any costs associated with delivering the product or service (such as shipping) as well as a cashflow forecast that shows where money comes in and goes out over time.

Writing a basic business plan is simple once you know the steps to follow

Writing a basic business plan is simple once you know the steps to follow.

  • Step 1: Write down your goals, objectives and vision for the future of your company. Don’t worry about how they will be achieved yet; just get them down in writing so that they’re clear in your mind.
  • Step 2: Next, list out all of the things that are needed for success (i.e., resources) or could help achieve those goals (i.e., opportunities). Make sure everything on this list fits within the scope of what’s possible for now–we’ll look at this in more detail later on when we discuss opportunity evaluation and feasibility analysis!
  • Step 3: Now that we have our foundation laid out with goals/objectives/vision as well as needs/resources/opportunities listed out separately under each category respectively…it’s time for action!

Conclusion

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of this, don’t worry! We know that writing a business plan can seem like a daunting task. But with the right approach and some practice, it’s easy to get started on your own plan and see where it takes you. And remember: You don’t have to be an expert writer or have perfect grammar–just make sure that what’s in your head makes sense when it comes out on paper.

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