A business plan is a formal statement of a business goals, reasons why they are attainable and plans for achieving them. It may also contain background information about the organization or team (or individual) attempting to reach those goals. It entails the resources or capital needed to start the business and the sources to get these resources.
What should a business plan include?
There are no defined rules about what a business plan should cover or the level of details needed. In general, a basic business plan should include the following information.
1) Business profile.
This includes the business title and location. It may also include the owner(s) of the business. At the same time, a business profile might include contact information of the business and the physical address.
2) Vision, mission and goals.
This will clearly indicate what the business intends to achieve in the future, as well as the assignments that the business intends to complete. This sets up where the business’ attention is directed to. Also, it includes the goals and objectives that the business aims at achieving.
3) Market research.
Analysis of the target market is also entailed in the business plan. This includes information regarding the target audience which the business intends to serve. Their locality and needs is identified to help the business owner decide on the products and/or services to sell.
4) Operational strategy.
The operational strategy includes the identified methods of work towards achieving the set goals. It entails information on how different activities will be taken, where, in which order and at what time. It also identifies the individual or team that will take specific tasks.
5) Products and/or services.
This is a list of products and/or services that the business intends to sell in the marketplace. The business plan should clearly outline the products and services, which they aim to provide to their audience (customers).
6) Marketing plan.
The business plan includes information regarding how the business intends to market its products and/or services. It may include the marketing channel such as print media, the press, social media and online advertising platforms as well as the cost of marketing and the target reach.
7) Financial strategy.
A business plan should include the sources of finance or capital needed to start the business. At the same time, it may include the sources of other resources other than money. If finance is gotten from loans or friends & family or partners (in case of a partnership business) they should be listed here.
8) Potential risks.
A good business plan will include some identified potential risks that the business may face. Also, there should be plans on ways to prevent the risks from occurring and addressing them when they occur.
With the above included in a business plan, an individual/team/organization is good to execute the plan and most probably, witness the success of the business.