How To Write A Simple Business Plan
How To Write A Simple Business Plan – Is the cornerstone of any successful company, regardless of size or industry. This step-by-step guide provides information on writing a business plan for organizations at any stage, along with free templates and expert advice.
On this page, you’ll find a step-by-step guide to writing a business plan and a chart to help you determine what type of business plan you should write. Plus, learn how a business plan can help grow a business and expert advice on writing one.
How To Write A Simple Business Plan
It is a document that communicates the company’s goals and ambitions, along with the timeline, financials, and methods needed to achieve them. In addition, it may include a mission statement and details about specific products or services offered.
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Depending on the stage of your business and its goals, a business plan can highlight different periods. However, a typical business plan will include the following benchmarks:
Startups, entrepreneurs and small businesses create business plans to use as a guide as their new company moves forward. Large organizations can create (and update) business plans to keep goals, finances, and timelines under high-level control.
While you should definitely have a formal overview of your business goals and finances, creating a business plan can also help you determine the viability of the business, its profitability (including when it will turn a profit) and how much money you will need. Investors On the other hand, a business plan also has functional value: not only do outline goals help you stay accountable on a timeline, they can also attract investors and therefore act as an effective growth strategy.
Simple Business Plan Templates
For more information, visit our comprehensive guide to writing a strategic plan or download free strategic plan templates. This page is focused on for-profit business plans, but you can read our article with non-profit business plan templates.
The specific information in your business plan will vary depending on the needs and goals of your venture, but a typical plan includes the following numbered components:
If your plan is particularly long or complex, consider adding a table of contents or appendix for reference. For a detailed description of each step above, read “How to Write a Business Plan Step by Step” below.
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Generally speaking, your audience includes anyone who is interested in your organization. This can include potential and existing investors, as well as customers, internal team members, suppliers and vendors.
The level of your business and target audience determine the level of detail your plan needs. Corporations need a complete business plan — up to 100 pages. Small businesses or start-ups should have a concise plan that focuses on finance and strategy.
To determine what type of business plan you need to create, ask, “What do we want the plan to do?” Determine the function first, and the form will follow.
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There is no specific order for a business plan, with the exception of the executive summary, which should always come first. Other than that, just make sure you structure the plan in a way that makes sense and flows naturally.
A traditional business plan follows a standard structure – because these plans encourage detail, require more upfront work, and can be dozens of pages long. A lean business plan is less general and focused on summarizing the critical issues for each department. These plans require a lot less work and are usually one page.
In general, you should use the traditional model for a legacy company, a large company, or any company that does not adhere to Lean (or other Agile methodologies). Use Lean if you expect the company to turn around quickly or if you are already using Lean strategies with other business operations. Additionally, a Lean Business Plan may be sufficient if the document is for internal use only. Stick with the traditional version for investors, as they may be more sensitive to sudden changes or the high degree of flexibility built into the plan.
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Writing a strong business plan requires thorough research and attention to detail for each section. Below you’ll find a 10-step guide to researching and defining each element in the plan.
The executive summary will always be the first part of your business plan. The goal is to answer the following questions:
Check out our template overview for executable resume examples and templates. Read our executive summary guide to learn more about writing one.
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The goal of this section is to define the field, scope and goal of your venture. To do this, answer the following questions as clearly and concisely as possible:
In this section, provide evidence that you have researched and understood the current market and that your product or service fills a niche market. To do this, answer these questions:
In many cases, a business plan proposes an entirely new (or even market) venture, but a more competitive version than what is currently available – either through features, pricing, integration, etc. In this section, answer the following questions to show how your product or service outperforms competitors:
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In this section, write an overview of team members and other key personnel who are integral to success. List roles and responsibilities and, if possible, note the hierarchy or team structure.
In this section, clearly define your product or service, as well as all the effort and resources to produce it. The strength of your product largely defines the success of your business, so you should take the time to test and refine your product before you dive into marketing, sales or financing details.
In this section, define the marketing strategy for your product or service. This does not need to be developed as a full marketing plan, but should answer basic questions such as the following:
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Write an overview of the sales strategy, including priorities for each cycle, steps to achieve these goals, and success metrics. For business plan purposes, this section does not require a comprehensive, detailed sales plan, but can simply outline the high-level goals and strategies of your sales efforts.
This section is one of the most important parts of your business plan, especially if you’re sharing it with investors. You don’t have to provide a complete financial plan, but you should be able to answer the following questions:
In addition to fundraising analysis, investors like to look at financial projections for the future. As mentioned earlier, this can take anywhere from one to five years, depending on the scale and stage of your business.
Business Plan Templates
While these estimates may not be exact – and must be somewhat flexible – you should be able to measure the following:
This basic business plan template has room for all the traditional elements: executive summary, product or service details, target audience, marketing and sales strategies, etc. In the financial sections, enter your basic numbers and the template will automatically calculate the projections. Sales forecasts, financial reports and more.
For templates tailored to more specific needs, visit this overview of business plan templates or download a blank business plan template to make things easier.
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If you are looking for a specific template by file type, please visit our page dedicated exclusively to Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word and Adobe PDF business plan templates.
, which conveys high-level information for quick review (such as a stakeholder presentation), a simple business plan can exceed one page.
Below are the steps to create a simple simple business plan, which is reflected in the example below.
How To Write A Business Plan In 10 Steps + Free Template
Use this simple business plan template to outline every aspect of your organization, including information about funding and opportunities for additional funding. This template is fully customizable to suit the needs of any business, be it a startup or a large company.
Read our article offering free simple business plan templates or free 30-60-90 day business plan templates to find more suitable options. You can also explore our collection of one-page business templates.
There is a more agile approach to the traditional version. The plan focuses more on activities, processes and relationships (and maintains flexibility in all aspects) than on concrete results and timelines.
Business Plan In 20 Minutes With Simple Business Plan
Although there is some overlap between traditional and lean business plans, you can write a lean plan by following the steps below:
Startup leaders can use this Lean Business Plan template to convey the most important information from a traditional plan. You’ll find all of the sections listed above, including industry positions and product overview, cost structure and revenue sources, and key metrics and timelines. The template is fully customizable, so you can edit it to fit your Lean Startups goals.
, includes many of the same aspects of a traditional business plan, as well as additional financial documents, such as a credit history, loan application, and loan repayment plan.
Solution: What Is A Simple Business Plan? How To Write A Busines Plan Step By Step
In addition, you may be required to include personal and business financial statements, forms of collateral, and information about capital investments.
In addition to including all the key details in your business plan, you have several options to improve the document for the best chances of obtaining financial and other resources. Follow these expert tips:
Besides these more practical tips, there’s also the language you use
How To Write An Effective And Simple Business Plan?
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