5 Steps to Writing a Business Plan

Dear About-to-be Entrepreneur,

Listen up: whatever your business dream is, have a well-documented plan for its implementation in place. It’s critical to your business success! And if you don’t know where or how to begin to write one, don’t panic: A wealth of detailed reference material abound online to guide you through the tricky process. You can start NOW by reading this instructive article here:

A good – never mind, great – business plan serves several useful purposes, including the following:

  1. It is a disciplined way to make short, medium, and long-term projections for your business
  2. It can help persuade potential investors/lenders about the viability, sustainability, and profitability of your business, thereby enabling you to readily raise the capital you might need.

3. And even when you have the financial wherewithal to solely and adequately fund your business without recourse to outside investment, a business plan will still come in handy as a concise, clear-headed outline of the various stages of implementation of your business strategy.

 The point is, there are many things to take into consideration when ‘setting up shop’, first of which is Writing A Business Plan
Now, these are five key steps to follow when writing a business plan 

4. First and foremost:
a. What are you writing about in your plan?
b. What’s your product or idea?
c. What problem(s) do you intend to solve with this plan?
d. Put it down.
e. Write it on paper.

5. Do your research; this is where you ask important questions.
a. How well will my product/service appeal to target consumers?
b. Who are my competitors?
c. How long do I hope to last in my market?
d. You must be able to provide truthful answers to every question

6. Make your plan attractive. It’s good that your idea can change the world and solve world hunger.
The question is, can it also make money?  If so:

  • How much?
  • How soon, and
  • How often?

With the required market research that you’ve done, you know the benefits and the potential of your idea. 

You know why you’d be a hit in the market. 

You know what edge you have over your competition. 

Your business plan must reflect all that information, and it must be as clear as crystal.

 Disassociate yourself from the whole project and look at it with a fresh eye. That is if you want important people (investors) to buy into your idea. 

  1. What are the numbers?
  2. Are they realistic?
  3. Would you invest in your idea if it wasn’t yours?
  4. Do you have a sound marketing strategy that works?

Entrepreneurs tend to get invested a lot in their work, as they should, but they often don’t see reality and it confuses them when others don’t share their enthusiasm. Their projections aren’t always feasible, or at best, ‘over-optimistic’!

Remember this: the people who give you money in exchange for whatever chunk of your business you agree on are primarily concerned about recouping their investment and making as much profit as possible. 

7. Now, last but certainly not least, be clear and precise on what you need to get your project off the ground.

How much of your business are you willing to let go of and for how much capital?

Let this information be in your plan. This will mostly serve as a guide as the numbers will be tweaked a little during negotiations but do not, and I mean DO NOT sell yourself short.

Now, let’s get down to writing that brilliant business plan now, shall we?

Good luck!