How To Write A Business Plan For A Small Business
You can subscribe to Kim's business growth tips by email, or connect on Linked In, Twitter and Facebook. In fact, if you're like a lot of entrepreneurs, you're probably going to find yourself pulling a few all-nighters to get one done before heading into your first pitch for funding.
Moreover though, a solid business plan is a living document that will continue to guide your efforts as your business grows.Recently, I shared 18 Mistakes That Kill Startups, an infographic created by Mark Vital over at Funders and Founders.A lot of those mistakes (most of them, in fact) are the result of poor planning.Larry Kim is the CEO of Mobile Monkey, a chatbot building platform for marketers that enables mobile messaging between businesses and customers via Facebook Messenger.He’s also the founder of Word Stream, the World’s top PPC marketing software company. It's definitely not the most exciting part of starting a business. Potential investors will want to know how big the market is, how many existing competitors there are, and whether the market is set to grow or contract. What are they doing well, and what can you improve on? You might also want to include outside advisors and experts, such as your accountants. Here, you’ll need to outline your sales forecasts and the cost of goods sold. While you don’t want to miss out crucial detail, you should also bear in mind people’s attention spans. While it’s not free, the best business plan software we’ve found is Live Plan, which is available for about £10 per month when you buy a full year. You’ll need to do some research to back this up, and that might be either quantitative, qualitative, or ideally both. Here, you’ll look at a few of your key competitors and analyse their strengths and weaknesses. This section helps you understand some of the most important factors that might affect the success of your proposition, and how you’re going to compete effectively with other companies operating in your market. This section will have a number of subsections, including marketing and sales, operations, and benchmarks. You should outline each key team member’s experience, and what they bring to this new business. Your business plan won’t succeed without watertight financial forecasts. The best ones guide you through the process step by step, giving you the questions and hints you need in order to structure your document properly. In this section you explain the size and nature of your market. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. How will you turn the opportunity into a profit-making enterprise? Here you’ll explain who’s involved in the business and what their strengths are. There’s a range of software options available to help you write your business plan. Now that you’ve done the analysis, this section allows you to explain how you’re actually going to run your business. It’s likely that your plan will be seen by people who don’t have intimate knowledge of your industry, so you need to make sure that it’s written in language that is accessible to people without specialist experience. You might even choose to build a presentation deck to give the toplines from your plan in an attractive, accessible format.What are your top tips for writing a great business plan? Download a free business plan template on The Prince’s Trust website.